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U.S. Meat Industry Making a Difference in Japan

More than 250 servings of U.S. steak were served on May 15 as part of USMEF’s relief efforts.

More than 250 servings of U.S. steak were served on May 15 as part of USMEF’s relief efforts.

The devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on March 11 claimed the lives of over 13,000 people and left nearly 150,000 homeless.

In April, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack reached out to the U.S. agricultural community to encourage agribusinesses, both large and small, to assist in the efforts to feed those affected in Japan through in-kind food donations. The U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) answered that call. With strong support from the U.S. beef and pork industries, USMEF estimates that it will serve more than 35,000 free beef and pork meals at 30 different locations by September, with more to follow.

Local volunteers serve up fried “Udon” noodles with slices of U.S. pork at a shelter housing 260 people in the city of Kesennuma.

Local volunteers serve up fried “Udon” noodles with slices of U.S. pork at a shelter housing 260 people in the city of Kesennuma.

To reach the communities most in need, USMEF worked through local governments and non-profit organizations to schedule shelter meals across the affected area. They collected information from each shelter to determine the number of servings required, types of food needed and cooking arrangements on-site. USMEF-Tokyo staff members visited many of these shelter sites during the food service to not only help serve meals, but underscore the hope of U.S. producers for a quick recovery.

FAS/Japan has been working with cooperator groups, like USMEF, and private sector firms to coordinate donations to the victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake.  Tens of thousands of Japanese are still displaced from their homes and living in temporary public shelters, so the need for food donations will continue for the foreseeable future.

If your firm has a supplier network in Japan, and you wish to make a donation, please visit http://www.usdajapan.org/en/recovery.html. The Ministry will work with your firm to match your donation with the expressed needs of an affected community in the Tohoku (Northeastern Japan) region.

To learn more about how you can make a difference, click here.

One Response to “U.S. Meat Industry Making a Difference in Japan”

  1. franklin johnson says:

    This is so exciting to read.
    Victims of Japan’s tsunami disaster are still living in less than standard ways of living.
    Although, very well known, that Japanese people can assume the anti-American meat posture, I’m happy that Sec. Vilsack reached out and USMEF responded, creating higher morale among those victims. However long it may last.

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