With the spread of the COVID-19 in Japan, consumer co-operatives nationwide are providing food to food banks in order to support people in need such as those who cannot work due to the government's measures against the new coronavirus and children who cannot have access to school lunch because of school closure. Here are two examples of initiatives that have been taken by some consumer co-ops.
◆Initiatives by Co-op Shiga
From March 23 to 25, 2020, Co-op Shiga provided 770 items, including confectionery, instant noodles, instant miso soup, drinks, and seasonings, to the Food Bank Biwako and the Food Bank Shiga in Shiga Prefecture. The purpose of this initiative was to support the needy by providing food banks with surplus products in the home delivery business.
The foods which Co-op Shiga provided were delivered by both food bank organizations to families in need, children's cafeterias, and welfare facilities.
◆ Initiatives by consumer co-ops in Ibaraki Prefecture
In Ibaraki prefecture, Ibaraki Consumer's Co-operative Union joined the "2020 Spring Break Emergency Support Project for Children" hosted by the NPO Food Bank Ibaraki. Ibaraki Consumer's Co-operative Union called on consumer co-ops and other cooperatives to join the project. This project provided food to households with children who could not have access to school lunch during school closure due to the spread of new coronavirus. By providing food, they encouraged those children to spend their long spring holiday cheerfully.
On March 19, project members carried in and sorted donated food for 268 households at Ibaraki Prefecture Central Union of Agricultural Cooperatives. Ibaraki Consumer's Co-operative Union called on several collaborators for donations for this activity. As a result, agricultural co-ops, *consumer co-ops, local companies, stores, and citizens joined and donated food.
*Ibaraki Co-op, Palsystem Co-op Ibaraki and Tochigi, Seikatsu Club, Kokumin Kyosai co-op <ZENROSAI>, Joso Consumer Co-op, Yotsuba Co-op, School teacher's co-op