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Food trucks serving up free hot meals to front-line medical workers

16 Comments

With no end in sight to the coronavirus pandemic, food trucks in Tokyo are spending the summer serving up hot meals to front-line medical workers free of charge with costs covered by the public through crowdfunding.

Acting to encourage doctors and nursing staff at the same time as helping food truck operators make up some of the income they have lost as more people work from home, the scheme -- launched by a hospital association in the capital -- is a win-win situation for all.

On July 4, it was the turn of staff at Tobu Chiiki Hospital in Tokyo's Katsushika Ward to get free meals. In a food truck offering Indian curry, Lalit Mohan was busy baking naan, while Hideyuki Matsuda, the food truck's operator, handed out helpings of naan and curry to smiling hospital staff.

The pair prepared 100 hot lunches in all for the hospital's workers, who usually get their lunches from neighborhood convenience stores or bring them to work from home.

"Normally, we aren't able to eat any hot meals, so I really appreciate this," said Yukari Horikawa, a nurse at the hospital.

Tobu Chiiki Hospital has been admitting coronavirus patients since April. Initially, there was heightened tension because of rumors and fears about the virus, and even now the anxiety continues.

"We have been able to get an energy boost from all of the support we've been given. It warms our hearts," said Midori Oku, chief of the hospital nursing staff.

The association began recruiting businesses to join the project in May. For the crowdfunding, a target of 3 million yen ($28,700) was set to deliver 100 meals each to 25 hospitals in the metropolitan area. The goal was reached by the deadline at the end of June, and the scheme is scheduled to continue until the end of August.

Koichi Nagai, secretary general of the hospital association, said, "There are hospitals where dining halls have been shut down, and employees of kiosks have quit. We want to support medical staff in the field with hot meals to show our feeling of gratitude."

Similar endeavors are under way. Mellow in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo, which runs a food truck brokerage business, launched an initiative in May. Food and fuel costs are borne by sponsors, and Mellow has provided more than 10,000 meals from food trucks for hospital workers in the Tokyo metropolitan area so far.

The efforts will help food truck companies whose sales in office districts have been in sharp decline. An employee of an event company involved in the Tokyo Metropolitan Hospital Association's project, said, "This not only helps hospitals but food trucks too. There is a good part for both."

© KYODO

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

16 Comments
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No pictures? I want to see if the Japanese version of a food truck looks anything like the standard US "Roach Coach" food trucks the visit warehouses and construction sites daily.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

I want to see if the Japanese version of a food truck

May I suggest google images for japanese food truck

12 ( +12 / -0 )

some good news for a change

7 ( +7 / -0 )

"Normally, we aren't able to eat any hot meals, so I really appreciate this," said Yukari Horikawa, a nurse at the hospital.

Huh? A hospital that is admitting corona patients, meaning they have a kitchen to prepare meals for the patients, can't or doesnt serve or make available, hot meals for it's own staff?

THAT is embarrassing! I worked many years in hospitals down here, and ALL of them had a cafeteria, and we were served REALLY great, balanced, and healthy meals. They were so popular that many elderly in the surrounding neighborhood often came to the hospital for lunch or dinner!

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Good news.

no staff in my hospital would eat curry or anything with garlic in it though.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Kudos to these guys for taking the time, and making the effort to make others feel a little bit more appreciated!

Crowd funded or otherwise, it's a great way for them to stay in business, and do something great for these workers.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Great to hear some good news. Hats off to all the front line workers and those supporting them.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Hooray for humans!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

No link on how to crowfund those associations ?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Hurry, finally some supply to the front lines. I hope when unemployment will be high they will serve the food to everyone in need.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Bless their hearts.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Refreshing news.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This Pandemic is now becoming a pandemic of each nation making.

prevention and safety rules are simple an well established now.

It is up to each nation to decide how far they wish to risk it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@n1k1 thank you. Because yeah, I’m not the biggest fan of Google, but it’s still better than nothing. Especially for something like that.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Kudos to these guys for taking the time, and making the effort to make others feel a little bit more appreciated!

Crowd funded or otherwise, it's a great way for them to stay in business, and do something great for these workers.

Good point Yubaru. Because yeah, it’s a win-win situation for everybody.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Glad that someone cares and puts out the effort and money to help out. Gambarro!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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