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Food Aid, School Meals Hit Hard by COVID-19, Soaring Prices

Food Aid, School Meals Hit Hard by COVID-19, Soaring Prices

   Tokyo, Sept. 21 (Jiji Press)--Food banks and school meals in Japan have been hit hard by soaring prices reflecting Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the yen's rapid weakening as well as by the impact from the COVID-19 pandemic.
   As the number of people in need of food aid is increasing, food banks are seeking more donations.
   Food Bank Kanagawa, founded in 2018 and based in Yokohama in Kanagawa Prefecture, south of Tokyo, collects through donations food products such as those in damaged packages but with no quality problems and provides them to nonprofit organizations for free.
   Amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, however, an increasing number of people, including students and single-parent households, are seeking food aid, leading to shortages of food to be provided. In addition, the amount of food donated is declining due chiefly to soaring prices, according to the food bank.
   "People are apparently finding it difficult to donate food because they also need to secure their own food amid surging prices," Makoto Fujita, 67-year-old chief of the secretariat of the food bank, said. "Not being familiar with food banks, some people even throw away their surplus food," he added, suggesting that he wants such people to cooperate by increasing awareness of such a food aid system.

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