Three weeks since the devastating Tohoku Earthquake, and in Tokyo it's far still too soon to say we're back to normal — least of all when it comes to dining out. In the uncertainty and gloom (not to mention the rolling blackouts), many restaurants are still closing early, and more than a few are suffering financially, as customers keep a rein on their spending and stay closer to home.
For the people of Tohoku, especially those lives have been directly hit by the devastation, nothing will ever be close to normal. These are days of agony, hardship and privation for the hundreds of thousands of survivors and other evacuees in the emergency evacuation shelters.
There are many organizations and individuals who are doing their utmost to raise funds and supply food and other essentials. One that the Tokyo Food File endorses in particular is Second Harvest. This NPO was set up over 10 years ago as Japan's first food bank, and has been supporting orphanages, laid-off workers, elderly people without families, migrant laborers, and single-mother households. Now it is bringing that expertise to delivering aid to Tohoku.
People in Japan can send food and equipment (new and valid items only; check the Web site first to see what is needed). Pick-ups are being arranged from a number of locations, including Tokyo International School in Mita [http://www.support.tokyois.com]. From outside the country, financial donations are best.
For further information visit http://www.2hj.org/index.php/eng_home
This post was also published with my April 1st column in The Japan Times — here...
The great work being done by Second Harvest Japan was also profiled by Melinda Joe in the Japan Times (also April 1st), here.