Surprisingly, more than 650,000 people in Japan lack “food security,” the access to safe, nutritious food through socially acceptable channels, and at the same time, more than 6,000 metric tons of food is thrown away in Tokyo every day.
Second Harvest Japan is Japan’s first food bank. They collect food that would otherwise go to waste from food manufacturers, farmers, and individuals, and distribute it to people in need, such as children in orphanages, battered women and their children in shelters, and the homeless in Japan.
As part of Edelman’s 603 “Summer of Service” initiative to help alleviate hunger and poverty in honor of Edelman’s 60th anniversary, employees in Edelman’s Japan office decided to use our four hours of paid time off volunteering at Second Harvest Japan. One of the organization’s activities is to hold a soup kitchen every Saturday at Ueno Park. We were divided into six teams to conduct our service. Four of our teams went to Second Harvest’s office on August 24 and 31 to prepare meals to be served at the soup kitchen the following day. The additional two teams volunteered at the soup kitchen on August 25 and September 1.
As if passing the baton of volunteerism, the meal that the first teams initially prepared for the Soup Kitchen was served by our other teams the following day. The team helping prepare the food cut a large amount of vegetables and the team that volunteered at soup kitchen served 819 meals in total.
All of our Edelman Japan teams were delighted to work together for our “Summer of Service” and grateful to the firm for giving us the opportunity to contribute to our community.
Kimiko Ono is the office manager at Edelman’s Tokyo office. She has been with the firm for four and a half years and is in charge of office administration, IT, marketing as well as office’s quality and global citizenship programs.