The Potentiality of Food Bank As a Form of Aid for the Poor -a Case Study of Food Bank Kawasaki-

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 16:00
Oral Presentation
Miyuki HORIBE, the Japanese Association for Environmental Sociology, Japan
One of the answers to social science engaged with the conceptualization of urban FEW-security, would be “gojo”or mutual suport in Japanese. The purpose of this study is to examine the potentiality in aid for the poor through participant observation to food bank(hereinafter referred to as FB), as one of “gojo” activity. The report of people starving to death as a result of not being able to afford food sent a shockwave through the Japanese society. As DeFries (2016) has said "satiation is a crisis faced by mankind today just as starvation was in the past". There are a number of people who can not afford to use water and energy from poverty in urban city, Kawasaki. Why are there still people unable to feed themselves to the point of starvation and even death when there is such abundance of food? One of the initiatives organized to improve this situation through distributing surplus food to the poor is the local FB. By distributing water and unwanted food eaten without cooking(energy) to the poor for free, this initiative is considered effective in terms of environmental and social welfare. With regard to achiving the ethical equity in food distribution, ideally the criteria for start/end of aid to be clear and objective, however they are often obscure and subjective. The FB Kawasaki has seen an increase in the amount of users and food supply, signaling that such activity can be effective if continued. Hence, this study looked at the factors that may continue FB activities in spite of the sociopolitical and socioeconomic contradictions. The result shows that FB has high potentiall to contribute to support users to break away from not being able to have access to FEW.