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    Japanese man carrying boxes

    Overcoming the barriers in donating food

    Problem
    Food wastage and food poverty in Japan
    Solution
    Food 'safety net' matching surplus with need
    Sector
    • Community Development
    Origin
    • Japan
    Presence
    • Japan
    • Vegetables piled on struck

      Japan discards over 6 million tons of food each year and has 20 million people living in poverty, but there is reluctance for people to accept food assistance. Giving back (ongaeshi) is a deep Japanese value, yet even in natural disasters it is not uncommon for communities to turn down offers of assistance. Marugohan (circle+food) addresses this apparent contradiction by creating a virtuous cycle of receiving assistance while giving back to society. Since 2000, they have been developing a food safety net to match the surplus with unmet needs.

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