[Press Release] JEN to distribute hot meals
The team arrived in Sendai on 14 of March following the Tohoku Earthquake that occurred on 11 March. We immediately started preparations for distributing emergency items, and needs assessment of basic commodities in light of the continuously changing situation of the area.
One of team members on the site, Yuka Hamatsu, describes the situation on the ground on the 15th;
“Today we were planning to distribute hot meals immediately upon receiving relief items from Tokyo. The younger children were starting to lose their energy after spending four days in the evacuation center. They appear weaker and their faces paler. Everyone, including the evacuees, wanted at least the children to be given hot meals if it was not possible for all 1,200 evacuees at the center.
We were still able to provide 600 meals of curry rice and spaghetti to the evacuees, despite the delay of the arrival of the relief items until tomorrow. This was made possible thanks to the volunteers including a restaurant chef from Sendai and young energetic students.
It was the first hot meals the people affected had since the Earthquake struck. Tomorrow, we will cook further meals with the relief items due to arrive from Tokyo, in hope of encouraging those affected by the disaster.
Access to electricity, gas and water vary depending on each evacuation center. In centers with no electricity, people have to huddle together to keep warm once the sun sets. After spending four days in the centers, both adults and children are becoming pale and showing clear signs of fatigue. In addition, the temperature dropped suddenly today, which appears to have caused some illness among the elderly.
The only cheerful message is the level of energy from the young volunteers. Students from junior high school to university have been actively volunteering and calling others to join them. Day by day there is an increasing number of volunteers to help. The youth have been helping with the food distribution but saying “we don’t need to eat”, although naturally they should have good healthy appetites. They are encouraging everyone.”
On 16th Wed, JEN will prepare hot meals as emergency distribution, at Takasago Junior High School in Miyagino-ku[, Sendai City].
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