Magazine Extras (Winter 2015)
Supplements to the article “Feeding Relationships”
In much of the world, of course, creating a food bank is not a matter of social innovation. But when Charles E. McJilton and his colleagues launched Second Harvest Japan in 2002, they were in effect introducing people in Japan to a new way of viewing and handling excess food. In a Viewpoint article titled “Feeding Relationships,” which appeared in the Winter 2015 issue of SSIR, McJilton discusses how the success of Second Harvest Asia has depended less on mastering the logistics of food collection and delivery than on forging strong links with partners in the Japanese food industry. And a crucial part of that effort, he contends, has involved building and using social capital.
To supplement the article, we share two items that show how McJilton and his colleagues at Second Harvest Japan build and sustain engagement with various partners and stakeholders. We present this material in its original form, and with thanks to McJilton and his organization.
McJilton and his team have worked to make sure that people who donate food to Second Harvest Japan understand where that food goes—and how much the recipients of the food appreciate their generosity. In a video segment produced by the organization, beneficiaries and social service volunteers give thanks for contributions to the food bank. (You can also view the clip here, at the organization’s website.)
Thank You Very Much for Your Support
The food from Second Harvest Japan is very helpful for us. It brings people pleasure and happiness.—representative of a women’s shelter (as transcribed in the video)
The mission of Second Harvest Japan isn’t simply to distribute food to those in need. For McJilton and his team, it also involves spreading the word about what a food bank does, and why. To broaden awareness of the food bank model, they use various tools and various media—including comic art. Below is one installment in a series of comics that the organization has produced. (You can view this comic here, and other entries in the series are available here.)
We have a pretty simple philosophy on that: we provide food to anyone in need. Japan is one of the world’s most prosperous countries, but nonetheless, hundreds of thousands of people live below the poverty line.—from the comic