StuCo Food Drive for Children’s Cafeterias: Huge Success!


IISJ closed the year-end holiday season with a successful Food Drive benefitting kodomo shokudo, or children’s cafeterias, that feed Japanese children, many below the poverty line. With all grades in Tokyo and Yokohama pitching in, the School donated 1,036 kilograms of food (Note: that’s more than the weight of four adult male polar bears combined). 

“Students far exceeded our expectations,” said Student Council President Atharv Kasar. “Donations blew up from the second day itself and in the first three days alone we collected over 200 kilograms,” he added. (Note: 200kg is the weight of an upright piano). 

Past IISJ food drives have benefited Second Harvest, Japan’s largest food bank. But this time, the officers decided to do something different. “We chose to donate to the cafeterias because they specifically cater to children in need and also allowed us to donate a wide variety of goods,” said Saumya Malkani, Student Council treasurer. 

The Student Council officers selected two children’s cafeterias where they donated the food: one right in Koto-Ku near IISJ and a second in Yokohama. On average, the cafeterias accept 60 people and provide over 100 meals a day. 

As an added incentive, classes that donated the most food were treated to a special prize. By the end of the two-week Drive, Tokyo’s 8C and 4B won, while Yokohama’s 4B also won. The winning classes were treated to a pizza party. 

“It was so heartwarming to see students come running towards us with bags of food in their hands!” said StuCo Secretary Aarav Tiwari. “Due to COVID, School spirit had been at its lowest,” added StuCo VP Manasvi Bardia. “I think the Drive really helped promote School spirit,” she said. 

This Food Drive also saw students from Yokohama participate for the first time. “We were very glad to have been a part of such a great cause,” said Yokohama StuCo Liaison Avanthika Ramasubramanian. No matter where we are, “all of us understand the value of material things and the importance of donating to those in need,” she added.