NEW YORK, Dec. 16, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- TABLE FOR TWO (TFT) USA, a non-profit organization that aims to tackle obesity and hunger issues simultaneously, held a social action program called "Change the World with Onigiri (Rice ball)" to support the annual World Food Day campaign from October 11th to November 30th.
TFT fans and supporters from all over the world submitted photos of their own onigiri to the campaign site or via social media tagged with #OnigiriAction. Sponsor companies* donated five meals per photo submitted. These photos make an impact. In Africa, a 25-cent donation funds one school meal to a child. In the U.S., it allows a school meal to be upgraded to one with fresh vegetables and fruits in low-income neighborhood districts.
*Genji Sushi Bars, J.C.C. Fund/ Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of New York, JFC International/Nishiki, Japan Commerce Association of Washington D.C. Foundation, Zojirushi America, San-J, Yamamotoyama of America, Misuzu Corporation, Otafuku Foods, BentOn, Onigilly, Udemy, Samurice.
In total, the program generated 108,815 onigiri photos from all over the world – 20 times more than the first onigiri action last year. Through this social action, TFT can provide 850,000 warm school meals that are enough to support 4,000 children in need for one school year. To commemorate this success, a mosaic of a smiling child in Africa was created using the posted photos. The number of page views of the campaign site was 389,872PV.
TABLE FOR TWO was first established in Japan in 2007 and has spread to 14 countries including the U.S. Japanese food culture is acknowledged as one of the world's healthiest and its popularity continues to grow. As a non-profit organization with roots in Japan, TFT promoted the enjoyment of Japanese food culture through a unique campaign that provides school meals to children in need.
Onigiri was featured to celebrate rice, one of the major Japanese agricultural products, and to showcase the Japanese tradition of making onigiri for others with love. Among the all the great photos, the Best of the Best Onigiri photos were awarded. You can view the awarded photos here: http://jp.tablefor2.org/campaign/onigiri/en.
Wow Location: Tutankhamen
Food fit for a Pharaoh! Look closely in front of the Pyramid, the word "ONIGIRI" is on the oinigiri!
Onigiri Halloween Award: The Japan-America Society of Dallas/Fort Worth Scary Good! At the Otsukimi (Moon Viewing) event in Dallas, over 300 people lined up to become onigiri for Halloween and promote healthy eating around the world.
Onigiri Smile Award: Bishop John T. Walker School for Boys
The joy of creation! The 1st grade students made onigiri with their own hands for the first time.
Most Creative Onigiri Award: Ann Lewis
She made a new creative onigiri every single day!! Some of her creations include: Yakiniku Maki Onigiri, Parmesan Cheese Onigiri in Cream Stew and Spam Nyan Onigiri..they all sound amazing!
Most Creative Onigiri Award: Globalize DC's "Japanese Plus" students
The students show their creative skills! (L-R) The character "Pucca"; A Crying Man
Most Creative Onigiri Award: Eleanor Roosevelt High School
Exotic onigiri - where is it from? Students at Eleanor Roosevelt High School, participating in the Global Classmates Program by Kizuna Across Cultures, made this eye-catching onigiri art!
Onigiri Kids Award: La ronde Byron
These nursery school children learned that there are many children around the world who can't eat even when they are hungry and that they can help by making onigiri. It was hard for small kids to make onigiri at first, but with a little practice, they made wonderful onigiri! These kids made a big difference!
Best Onigiri Story Award: John Snowball
This high school service group handed out over 400 student-made onigiri to hungry men and women in Yokohama. The students work with a homeless shelter in city to provide a free lunch every Friday for the homeless of the district. Giving to others in need is the spirit of onigiri.
Best Onigiri Story Award: Verena Hopp
She has an M.A. in Japanese studies and introduced onigiri and many kinds of sushi to her friends and family. Her grandma fell in love with onigiri and requests them everytime her granddaughter returns to Germany! She posted this photo for her grandma for her birthday. Alles Liebe zum Geburtstag Oma!
Also during the campaign period, Genji Sushi Bars' "Happy Bento", Yamamotoyama of America's "Ariake Roasted Seaweed", Hanada's "White Birch Glazed Oval Plate (by Kazuhiko Kudo)", Toiro Kitchen's donabe (Japanese clay pot) rice cooker, "Kamado-san" were sold and a portion of the sales funded TFT's mission.
In New York City, TFT participated in Japan Fes on October 16th. TFT sold donated products such as Genji Sushi Bars' Sukiyaki Beef Rice Bowl, Otafuku Foods' Okonomiyaki Kit (Japanese savory pancake) and marukome USA's Miso Soup to raise donations for school meals. Participants lined up to try their own hand at making onigiri at the TFT booth. Also during the campaign period, local Japanese restaurant BentOn sold special healthy onigiri.
Meanwhile, in Washington D.C., Hana Japanese Market, Tako Grill, Sushi Express, Sushi Taro and Rice Bar sold onigiri and healthy Japanese food for donation. The Japan Commerce Association of Washington D.C. Foundation supported a nearby school in low-income communities with improved access to healthier school meals with fresh fruits and vegetables. On November 9th, the students at the school were provided onigiri and enjoyed learning how to make riceballs for the first time. Also, the Embassy of Japan and TFT held an onigiri workshop for elementary students in D.C. area.
In Los Angeles, Japan Foundation Los Angeles and TFT hosted onigiri workshops by inviting Ms. Naoko Moore to the Japanese Food Festival on November 13th. The Sushi Chef Institute provided a "1 day sushi workshop" and a portion of the program fee was donated (Sushi Workshop for Good) to TFT. In San Francisco, restaurant Onigilly sold onigiri with donation. In Dallas, an onigiri photo booth was set up at the Otsukimi Moon Viewing Celebration hosted by the Japan-America Society of Dallas/Fort Worth on October 15th.
In Boston, "Oishii October Festival" was held at Boston University by inviting cookbook author Ms. Debra Samuels to participate in workshops on October 28th. It was a fun-filled and educational evening to make delicious (oishii) and popular Japanese foods: rice balls (onigiri), savory pancake (okonomiyaki) and rice stuffed fried tofu skin pockets (oinarisan). Also in New Jersey, elementary school students enjoyed learning how to make oinarisan and okonomiyaki.
TABLE FOR TWO USA Co-President Mayumi Uejima-Carr
"As the title of the action says, onigiri did change the world. TFT held events to introduce onigiri and healthy Japanese food in New York, Washington D.C., Boston, Los Angeles and Dallas and found enthusiasm everywhere for this unique social action. Many K-12 schools organized onigiri workshops to enjoy learning about new Japanese food and make a difference at the same time. We were very happy to see all the fun and heartwarming photos from all over the world from kids to adults. We appreciate everyone's support in bringing many smiles to children in need."
About TABLE FOR TWO USA:
TABLE FOR TWO USA (TFT) is a 501(C)(3) organization that that addresses the opposite issues of hunger and obesity through a unique "meal-sharing" program. TFT partners with corporations, restaurants, schools and other food establishments to serve healthy, low- calorie, TFT-branded meals. For each one of these healthy meals served, a small portion of the cost is donated to provide one school meal for a child in need. In this way, TFT has served healthy meals to both sides of the "table" and helped to right the global food imbalance. TFT started in Japan and now operates in 14 countries. As one of the most well-known NPOs in Japan which is noted for the longevity of its people, TFT promotes Japanese healthy eating culture as well to tackle the critical health issues.
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SOURCE TABLE FOR TWO USA