Marugohan

by Second Harvest Japan
Marugohan

On April 24th Prime Minister Suga called a state of emergency for Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, and Hyogo Prefecture. This will last until May 11th but may be extended if cases continue to increase. 

We continue to provide food assistance from marugohan market. However, as we wrote in our previous reports, it is still not safe to allow people to come in and "shop" for what they need. We understand that this aspect of the project was very appealing to our users and we are continually asked, "When are you going to reopen?" As much as we would like reopen and allow people to shop for what they need, we still feel it is not completely safe for our users and volunteers. The space is very small compared to supermarkets that are open.

Our coupon system which we introduced last year has greatly increased our ability to handle large numbers in a short period of time. This greatly reduces the number of people waiting to receive assistance.

In my January dispatch I wrote that May would be the earliest for us to re-open marugohan. With less than 0.8% of the population vaccinated and roll-out not to take place for several months, it is quite likely we will not be able to re-open marugohan in 2021. 

We will continue to keep you updated.

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

While Japan has managed to curtail major outbreaks seen in other parts of the world, 2021 started on a somber note as state of emergency will be soon announced for Tokyo and neighboring prefectures

NHK Report   Asahi News Reports  Kyodo News Reports

 

We continue to provide food assistance from marugohan market. However, as we wrote in our previous reports, it is still not safe to allow people to come in and "shop" for what they need. We understand that this aspect of the project was very appealing to our users and we are continually asked, "When are you going to reopen?" As much as we would like reopen and allow people to shop for what they need, we still feel it is not completely safe for our users and volunteers. The space is very small compared to supermarkets that are open.

On October 1st, introduced a coupon system that has similar aspects to marugohan. Registered users are issues a member card good through 2021 and five coupons. Each coupon is good for one pickup and users can receive an additional five coupons once everty two months. This has dramaticlly reduced the processing time which means there are fewer people waiting in line. In the next couple of weeks we will discuss and create a plan where users are asked to perform so good deed / action in order to receive an additional five coupons.  

With the new state of emergency announcements and discovery of a new strain of the virus, we do not see re-opening marugohan any time earlier than May 2021.

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

We continue to provide food assistance from marugohan market. However, as we wrote in the last report, it is still not safe to allow people to come in and "shop" for what they need. We understand that this aspect of the project was very appealing to our users and we continually are asked, "When are you going to reopen?" As much as we would like reopen and allow people to shop for what they need, we still feel it is not completely safe for our users and volunteers. The space is very small compared to supermarkets that are open.

Begining on October 1st, we will introduce a coupon system that has similar aspects to marugohan. We believe this will make it easier for users to get the food they need without having to deal with multiple checks each time they come. We also see it as a stepping stone to reopening marugohan fully by early 2021.

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
CEO with homemade mask
CEO with homemade mask

COVID-19 hit us hard and required us to make significant changes in our operations.

 In March more businesses were voluntarily closing or asking employees to work from home. This impacted part-time and other marginal workers. As a result we began to see an increase in the number of people seeking assistance from us. On April 11th we had an unprecedented number of people show up for assistance, so many that we had to turn away 60 people. The following week on April 14th we saw another record number of people come and within 45 minutes of opening we had to turn away people again. It was at this point we made the decision to temporarily shutter marugohan and move to a drive-thru style of providing assistance.  

There were three concerns we had: First, our volunteers and staff felt safe. In late March our regular volunteers said they could no longer come. Many were older people and others had kids that were staying home because schools had closed. Second, the community we work in. Tokyo is densely populated. The physical space for people to shop in marugohan is relatively small. This means people must wait outside before coming in. Managing large groups and maintaining social distance is a big challenge. Our neighbors are concerned and we feel obligated to address this issue. Lastly, it is the safety of those who come here. We want to have an environment in which people feel safe and welcome. 

We still provide services to marugohan members. Every two weeks they can come and pick up a 10kg parcel that includes milk, eggs, rice, and other staples common to our diet in Japan. We intend to continue this style of service beyond the lifting of emergency declaration. We believe that even though many businesses will re-open, those affected by the economic downturn will not soon recover and will need support over the next couple of months. 

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

We officially opened marugohan market on October 10, 2019. 

We have seen dramatic increases in the number of households coming to pick up food each day. Previously we would have 30-40 households come for assistance. Now we are seeing 70-80 on average. Moreover, we are seeing more Japanese come and use the market. 

People report that they like the new shopping style and variety of food we offer. Next month we will begin offering frozen food with the installation of our walk-in cooler.

We have also streamlined our processes so that more users can access the market. In our previous system it might take upwards two hours to process 50 households. The new system we can have 50 shop in less than hour. 

Links:


Attachments: Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
 

About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information

Second Harvest Japan

Location: Taito-ku, Tokyo - Japan
Website:
Project Leader:
Charles McJilton
Taito-ku, Tokyo Japan
$4,492 raised of $50,000 goal
 
33 donations
$45,508 to go
Donate Now
lock
Donating through GlobalGiving is safe, secure, and easy with many payment options to choose from. View other ways to donate

Second Harvest Japan has earned this recognition on GlobalGiving:

Help raise money!

Support this important cause by creating a personalized fundraising page.

Start a Fundraiser

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence

Snorkeler
Our
Impact

Woman Holding a Gift Card
Give
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle
GlobalGiving
Guarantee

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.