Food bank for struggling students in Chiba

Japanese organizations provided free food and drinks to university students in financial difficulty due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Nine groups in Chiba Prefecture -- including local agricultural, fishery and consumer cooperatives -- joined forces to help students facing hardship.

Students have been hit hard financially due to part-time jobs being cut as a result of the pandemic. Many live alone and have been struggling to make ends meet.

On Tuesday, 900 portions of food and drinks were offered at a venue set up on a local university campus. The food, which will also be available on Wednesday, included rice, canned fish and noodles.

To prevent congestion, students were asked to come at a prearranged time to pick up the free goods.
Students told NHK that everyone was "grateful" for the help.

Those involved in the handout included Komoda Katsumi, an executive at JA Chiba Chuoukai, a body connected to a local agricultural cooperative. He said organizers were keen to help students in terms of food, which is vital for survival. He added that they were happy that students welcomed their offer.