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“Please use for soup kitchen” Fresh Vegetables Arrived from Shizuoka: Noto Peninsula Earthquake


More than three weeks have passed after the Noto Peninsula earthquake. The emergency support team of AAR Japan (Association for Aid and Relief, Japan) continues to provide soup kitchens in cooperation with other organizations amid the severe cold weather in the affected areas. Since last week, the team has been serving hot meals to the affected residents at a soup kitchen in Wajima City, Ishikawa Prefecture, using fresh vegetables donated by Mabuchi Farm in Hamamatsu City, Shizuoka Prefecture.

Five people are sitting in a row behind a basket of vegetables / Three people are harvesting Japanese radishes in the field

Vegetables sent to the Noto Peninsula earthquake-stricken area and the people of Mabuchi Farm (left) / Harvesting at Mabuchi Farm (right) = Hamamatsu City, Shizuoka Prefecture

“I’m so happy!” “It warms me up in this coldness.” “I used to cook and eat them with my family.” These were some of the words uttered by those who received the local dish “Tori-Yasai Miso” at the evacuation shelter set up at the Fureai Health Center in Wajima City. This warm and nutritious one-pot dish of chicken, vegetables, mushrooms, and other ingredients is a familiar taste. The participants showed their relieved faces for a moment after the prolonged inconvenience of the evacuation.

Many of the vegetables, including Japanese radishes, turnips, komatsuna(similar to spinach), and sweet potatoes, were donated by Mabuchi Farm and FARM KTT, which grow 60 to 70 varieties of vegetables and fruits annually without pesticides or fertilizers, for use in the soup kitchen for the disaster victims. AAR, in cooperation with other relief teams from Higashi Honganji Temple, Kazekumi Kanto, and other organizations, has been providing soup kitchens at evacuation centers in Wajima City, Suzu City, and Noto Town since immediately after the earthquake, and has delivered more than 13,000 meals so far.

Large pot of vegetables being cooked / Man cutting vegetables

Serving Toriyasaimiso, a local dish full of vegetables, at a soup kitchen conducted in cooperation between AAR and Higashi Honganji Temple team (left) / Cooking vegetables from Mabuchi Farm (right) = Fureai Health Center, Wajima City

Sayaka Komatsu of Mabuchi Farm said, “Farmers sometimes harvest more vegetables than they can sell during the peak season, and we would be more than happy if our fresh vegetables could be of help in the affected areas. We hope that other farmers will learn from our way of helping,” she said, adding that she is expanding circle of support by calling on farmers to donate money for transportation and other costs associated with providing vegetables. This week, a total of more than 100 kilograms of vegetables and fruits, including Japanese radishes, taro, potatoes, pumpkins, and mandarin oranges, have been delivered to collection points in the affected areas.

Eight cardboard boxes of Japanese radishes, turnips, pumpkins, rape blossoms, and many other fresh vegetables are piled up

Fresh vegetables delivered from Mabuchi Farm to a collection point in Nanao City, Ishikawa Prefecture on January 23, 2024.

AAR has been working with many companies and organizations to support the disaster victims, and we have received many offers like “We want to do something for the people affected by the disaster using our core business” and “We want to help with the transportation of supplies.” There is little we can do in the devastated areas but with the help of those companies, organizations, and individuals who are willing to give of themselves we can deliver the support needed in the affected areas.

We would like to ask for your further cooperation in AAR’s support for the Noto Peninsula earthquake relief efforts.

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