Volunteers from the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) were delighted to have four branches and one department from the Bank of Okinawa participate in their winter 2021 food drive.
OIST volunteers have been organizing biannual food drives since 2017. These food drives take place just before the summer and winter vacations of Okinawa’s elementary and junior high schools to aid families who need food support over the holidays. For each drive, between 100 and 200kg of food is collected and delivered to the NPO Food Bank Second Harvest Okinawa. It is then distributed through the welfare departments of local government and organizations that support single-parent families in the Okinawa Prefecture.
The winter 2021 food drive was held from November 29 to December 10. This time, the Bank of Okinawa asked to take part, and on December 8, four branch managers visited OIST to donate the food they had collected at their branches.
The four branch managers from the Bank of Okinawa, who visited the OIST campus on Wednesday, December 8 to donate food, are pictured next to OIST volunteers, and Resource Center staff. The Bank of Okinawa branches and departments that donated to OIST's food drive are as follows:
Loan FP Station Yanbaru
Food collected by the four branches and the department of the Bank of Okinawa for the OIST food drive.
Mr. Takashi Yamashiro, Manager of the Onna Branch of the Bank of Okinawa, explained that it was an employee of the Bank of Okinawa on secondment at OIST who informed them about the activity. “We were impressed by the wonderful initiative and wanted to join in.
“Through this project, I learned that there are many families suffering from poverty in Okinawa. I was shocked to hear about families without rice cookers and refrigerators. I think it’s really important that we contribute to efforts like these food drives in the future.”
POWER CLUB, an OIST club led by students, also regularly collects and donates food and other necessities.
Keita Uesugi, Manager of the OIST Resource Center, said, "OIST food drives have been organized regularly for five years now, and, every time, we are grateful for the many donations we receive from the OIST community. We hope to continue to connect the people of Okinawa with the OIST community through activities like these.”