NPO Food Bank Kyoto is a small but growing organization of members and volunteers that receives food donations from local farmers, food producers, supermarkets, and individuals which are then distributed to welfare facilities and persons in need of food support. Food bank activities help to provide food security for those with insufficient food supplies, contribute to decreasing food waste, and provide volunteer opportunities for individuals or groups wishing to get involved in community welfare activities. NPO Food Bank Kyoto is one of 77 food banks operating across Japan.
As with food banks across Japan and around the world, we have been providing as much support as possible for those facing difficulties due to the pandemic.
*To support food insecure individuals and families by supplying safe, nutritious food.
*To contribute to a decrease in food waste by taking food that would not otherwise be sold or consumed as in cases of overbuying, mistaken purchases, unused food gifts, aesthetically unappealing foods, minor packaging errors, unpopular food items etc.
*To create food stocks for emergency relief activities.
*To contribute to education about food issues.
*To network with other welfare organizations.
A brief history
2015 Food Bank Kyoto is established by Kyoto resident, Yumi Takabatake
Sponsors periodic food drives and delivery to single mothers’ facilities, kids’ kitchens (kodomo shokudo), children’s welfare facilities, and individuals.
2016 Secures a small rent-free space to use as an office and for food storage.
Begins regular food drives at Daiei and Gourmet City supermarkets.
Obtains a small area of land on the outskirts of Muko City from a retired farmer to start a vegetable garden.
Begins receiving donations of rice and vegetables from local farmers and packaged goods from local food manufacturers.
Buys an industrial fridge to store rice and vegetables.
2018 Attains NPO status.
2019 Secures a larger food storage space and expands the number of regular donors.
1) Food collection
Food Bank Kyoto receives various types of food on a regular basis from local groups and businesses by way of donations and food drives.
Daiei Supermarkets (monthly food drives)
Kyoto Kumpu Lions Club
International Soroptimist Kyoto
Viva Sports Academy Minami Kusatsu Branch
Muko City Festival
Ritsumeikan University Kinugasa Campus
Kyoto International School
Kyoto Green Center
Konnyaku (konjac potato jelly)
Yano Foods Incorporated
Oage (Fried tofu)
Daikyo Foods Incorporated
Konditorei Mausi Japanese Sweet Shop
Various foods (rice, fruit, bread etc.)
Kyoto Volunteer Association
Emergency food supplies
(Canned food, instant food, water etc.)
Ritsumeikan University Kinugasa Campus, Ibaraki Campus, Suzaku Campus
Ritsumeikan Uji Junior High School
*Dry goods, rice, and vegetables have also been received from small supermarkets, schools, groups, and individuals.
2) NPO Foodbank Kyoto vegetable garden
Under the guidance of an experienced gardener, a group of dedicated volunteers are producing fresh, chemical-free vegetables year-round on Food Bank Kyoto’s 0.2 hectare vegetable garden located on the outskirts of Muko City. Depending on the season, the garden produces onions, beans, tomatoes, peppers, egg plants, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, radishes, carrots etc., which are delivered along with canned food and dry goods. A recent donation of a water pump from Takashimaya Department Store has helped to improve production and we are now exploring ways to raise funds to for other needed tools and machinery.
3) Food distribution
Recipients of food aid from Food Bank Kyoto in Kyoto City and the surrounding areas of Uji City, Kameoka City, and Muko City include the following.
*Welfare facilities for single mothers and their children
*Welfare facilities for underprivileged or at-risk children
*Welfare facilities (soup kitchens etc.)
*Kids’ Kitchens (Kodomo Shokudo)
*Individuals and families in need, including several refugee families
*Local governments (emergency relief food stocks)
4) Educational activities
In recent years, we have been expanding our educational activities by organizing lectures about Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), food waste and food security issues at various local universities, junior and senior high schools including Kyoto International School, and the Lion’s Club. These lectures are often delivered within the context of a larger projects in which students or members actively participate in self-study sessions, poster making events, and food drives. Educational events have also been held for students from other areas making study trips to Kyoto City.
1) Pickup and delivery staff
For those with access to a car and who like to drive, the food bank is always in need of people who can collect donations from various places and deliver food support packages to individuals and welfare facilities around the city. The schedule for most pickups and deliveries is flexible, making it easy to work around personal schedules.
2) Sorting staff
Once a month on a day and time announced in advance, volunteers gather for several hours to sort food donations by date and type, and to divide donated rice into 2kg bags for delivery. This work is done as a group and provides an opportunity to get to know other volunteers.
3) Vegetable garden staff
Perfect for those who like to work outside, the vegetable garden staff can always use another helping hand. Experienced gardeners can put their skills to good use and those with little or no experience can learn from other volunteers.
4) Organizing your own food drive
If you are interested in organizing a food drive and would like help from Food Bank Kyoto with collection and/or distribution, please contact us (see contact information below).
A food drive is a periodic or regular activity held to collect food for distribution to those in need and to raise awareness about hunger and food waste. Any individual, group or organization can organize a food drive to support the communities in which they live. Some schools also encourage their students to organize or participate in food drives as an active educational experience.
Foods to collect:
Non-perishable canned or packaged foods such as soups, canned fish (tuna or salmon etc.), beans, pasta and noodles, rice, healthy crackers, low-sugar cereals, condiments etc., which are not past the expiry date and have nutritional value.
Foods to avoid:
Fresh or pre-cooked foods, food in open packages or glass jars, food or drink that contains alcohol, food past the expiry date.
Planning a food drive:
*Organize a group of volunteers
*Advertise well ahead of time (fliers, posters, online etc.)
*Specify a collection point, date(s) and times, and the types of food to be collected (be sure to have permission to use the location for food collection).
*Provide collection containers (large boxes etc.)
*Arrange for food to be transported from the collection site to the distribution site (food is most often distributed by food banks, welfare organizations, churches etc.)
If you are interested in volunteering or simply finding out more about NPO Food Bank Kyoto, please feel free to contact us for more information (see below).
NPO Food Bank Kyoto
4-2, Yamanawate, Teradocho, Muko-machi, Kyoto-fu
Japanese email contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
English email contact: 1fbkyotoEnglish@gmail.com