Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Nov. 10 Charles McJilton of Second Harvest

While possibly a third of food in Japan is thrown away because it is not perfect, pristine and presentable - or because of industry standards of disposing of food long before its expiration date, many in Japan, the elderly, children of single mothers, out-of-work immigrants and, yes, also, the homeless, do not get enough healthy and safe food to eat.

That was the message of Charles McJilton who spoke with us on November 10th.   And the organization he leads, Second Harvest, is trying to do something about it.  Already more than 250 food companies pass goods to his organization to be redistributed through the hot meal, emergency food package and food bank programs that has been set up by Second Harvest.

Charles told us how he got a look up close at Japan's poverty by living in a "blue sheet" cardboard shack along the Sumida River for 18 months, getting to know first hand about the pride, the honesty and the life style of those who make there homes out of cardboard and plastic and live invisibly in plain sight.   And how he decided that although he was not responsible for them being in that situation, he could decide to respond to it, and how with others built Japan's first food bank.

He also told stories of his efforts to get food to the areas in need during the Tohoku disaster, and how one of the problems of helping those in need get the food they need is not finding the food, but finding the needy and the organizations that can (and are willing) to deliver the food to them.

As always, his talk was enjoyable and inspiring.   http://www.2hj.org/

Comment by Chuck Olson

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