Activity Reports

2HJ Staff Travel to Europe To Study European Food Banking

  • Food Banks in the Region


2HJ CEO and staff member Masahiro Otake travelled to France, the UK and Switzerland to study food banking and the social sector in those regions.

They visited the FEBA (European Federation of Food Banks) which is based in Paris. 247 food banks from 21 different European union countries are associated with the FEBA.


The FEBA was started by volunteers with a wealth of experience.

Patrick (left) and the president of the organization, Maria (second from the left) explained FEBA’s activities in detail, focusing particularly on their lobbying activities.

Charles and Otake also visited FareShare in the UK. FareShare began their activities in 1994 and now have 17 locations throughout the UK.


FareShare is also a member of FEBA


Speaking with the network controls manager, Danielle


FareShare’s warehouse

Every year FareShare delivers 3,600 tons of food to 800 welfare agencies and  serves over 36,500 people. There was also a Japanese staff member working at FareShare, and he kindly explained to us the circumstances that led up to his working there. It would seem that we can look forward to increase cooperation with FareShare in the future.

Charles and Otake visited the Caritas Market in Switzerland, a supermarket which sells to those in financial difficulty. The Caritas Market has 23 locations throughout the country.




Just like a regular supermarket, the Caritas Market sells both fresh food products and amenity items.


However, they sell them at incredibly low prices.

The Caritas Market sells items at approximately 1/3 of market price. They purchase items a low, wholesale prices, rather than accepting donations, and the resell these products to those in need and affordable prices. By doing this, those in need are able to maintain a sense of independence, and can escape some of the social stigma which comes with accepting assistance. 2HJ Otake felt that this system may be particularly effective in Japan where citizens feel similar social stigma.


Charles and Rolf, the mastermind behind the Caritas Market system.

There are as many ways to achieve an result as there are different countries in the world. There is great value is traveling to different areas, seeing each locality with your own eyes, hearing the stories of the local people, and learning the similarities and differences between that localities’ activities and your own. Second Harvest learned, and will continue to study new ways to help sustain our activities.

Our only regret is that there is space here to share a only small portion of all we learned from this trip.


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