I am currently in Okinawa for our monthly distribution.
We set an ambitious goal of reaching 10,000 households over six days!!! This is more than 3x what we normally do at our monthly distributions.
To reach this ambitious goal we are trying something new. Using the idea of yui maru (Okinawan for mutal help), we are offering each household that registers to pick up a box of food to register for an additional box they will then distribute to a family in their network.
This afternoon kicked off the first distribution and to my surprise, not every household took an extra box. Far from disappointing I was actually impressed. You see, many people told us that people here will simply take an extra box and not give to another family. Sure, at this point we do not know if those who took an extra box today will actually deliver the second box, but we know there were a good number of people who simply took only what they could use even though they could have take an extra box for their own family.
This does not surprise me that people demonstrated integrity. Today, as in previous distributions, close to 90% of recipients brought food to donate. In my more than 20 years of doing this, I have never heard of a food drive being conducted at a food distribution. But it is being done here in Okinawa in a prefrecture with more than 30% poverty rate.
In future reports I will share with you the results of our project this month. It is ambitious but if successful it brings us one step closer to creating a people-center food safety-net.
We wish you all the best this holiday season.
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