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Soup kitchen which bring cheer and smile to the people: Noto Peninsula Earthquake


In the areas affected by the Noto Peninsula earthquake, about 23,000 people are still living in evacuation centers and in cars in Ishikawa Prefecture. AAR Japan (Association for Aid and Relief, Japan) began serving soup kitchen immediately after the earthquake and has so far provided a total of 26,000 hot meals at evacuation centers in Wajima City, Suzu City, Noto Town, and other areas, hoping to help the people affected by the disaster, even if only a little.

A man serving rice

Ben Kato, AAR Director, serving rice at an evacuation center at Wakayama elementary school in Suzu City, Ishikawa Prefecture, February 10, 2024

AAR’s soup kitchen is led by partner organization, the NPO Peace Project (Representative: Ben Kato, AAR Director). Mr. Kato, who was preparing the meal at the evacuation center of the elementary school, said, “We pay attention to nutritional balance by using plenty of vegetables and meat. The most important thing is to serve warm, homemade food to people who are struggling under difficult circumstances.” On this day, high school students from Kanagawa Prefecture volunteered to help out.

Distributing meals in the gymnasium

People receiving meals for their families in cardboard boxes that serve as trays

Meals at evacuation centers tend to be monotonous and nutritionally unbalanced. We have been making efforts to provide a relaxing time for everyone to smile, at least at mealtime, in the midst of the inconvenience of evacuee life. We provide a variety of dishes such as “Tori-Yasai Miso,” which is a local dish, ginger-grilled pork, pork bowl, , beef bowl, and vegetable curry, which have been well received.

Three photos of the dishes

A man in his 60s who received the meal said with smile, “It really helps. After all, freshly cooked food tastes good.” When we served vegetable curry using fresh vegetables, people of all genders and ages said, “I never thought I would be able to eat something like this at an evacuation center.”

Three photos of the dishes

The soup kitchen was carried out in cooperation with other organizations, including the Higashi Honganji Volunteer Team, NPO BOND&JUSTICE and Kazagumi Kanto (both from Tokyo). Many companies and organizations cooperated by providing fresh vegetables and fruits from Mabuchi Farm and FARM KTT in Hamamatsu City, Shizuoka Prefecture, rice from The Farm (Chiba Prefecture), and disposable plate and food from NPO Second Harvest Japan (Tokyo).

Three photos of the food

Since this month, we have also financially supported a group of volunteers, including chef Junya Ikehata of the French restaurant “L’Atelier de NOTO” in Wajima City, to provide approximately 1,500 to 1,600 meals daily to evacuees living at home in the neighborhood and those sheltered in evacuation centers.

We would like to ask for your cooperation in AAR’s support for the Noto Peninsula earthquake-stricken areas.

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