About 200 people gathered on Sunday in Tokyo to discuss better ways of feeding children from low-income and other disadvantaged families.
The subject of discussion was a free-meal program called Kodomo Shokudo, which translates as children's cafeterias.
The event organizer says there are at least 100 makeshift eateries in Tokyo.
The head of a single-mothers support group said the program has received a lot of positive feedback. But the leader said it's necessary to improve privacy protection so that the children's families feel more comfortable using the service.
Nonprofits running children's cafeterias gave their thoughts on how to improve the service.
One group described how they created and distributed maps showing where the eateries are located.
Another group said they are working with food bank operators that deliver donated food to needy families.
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government will start subsidizing groups operating children's cafeterias in the next fiscal year beginning in April.