School staff, Tsukuba farmers, and local businesses all pitch in.

The coronavirus pandemic hasn’t been kind to most people’s income levels, and that’s especially true for people who work in restaurants and retail stores. Those just happen to be two of the most common part-time job types for college students, so it was a timely decision by Ibaraki Prefecture’s University of Tsukuba to have a food drive for its students who’re feeling a painful pinch in their grocery budgets.

Now when you hear the words “student food drive” you might be imagining canned goods, and sure enough, those were present. But donors responded with amazing generosity not just in the variety of items they gave, but the quantity too, with a total of more than 19 metric tons (41,888 pounds) of food donated to the students.

▼ The food drive donations

Donations were collected from the school’s teaching and administrative staff, and the organizers also reached out to local residents, farmers, and businesses. As contributions started coming in, the University of Tsukuba Futureship student and alumni association started posting photos of the generous gifts that were being amassed. Local agricultural group Tsukuba Ryono, for example, donated more than 500 heads of cabbage, while the Zenno Ibaraki chapter of co-op Japan Agriculture sent a similar quantity of hakusai (Chinese cabbage).

But things really started to get crazy when Kakuyasu, a chain of mini marts/liquor stores, pulled up with a truck with somewhere between seven and eight tons of rice.

Cup noodles, always a critical part of the student diet, were well accounted for too, with so many crates of them arriving that you could have probably built a house of out them, as shown in these photos.

Supermarket chain Kasumi sent a total of four tons of noodles, canned goods, beverages, snack foods, and even seasonings.

Local egg producer Ajitama stepped up with no fewer than 1,200 cartons, containing 10 eggs each, which along with all the rice means plenty of tamago kake gohan on the students’ menus in the days ahead.

And taking care of dessert was Ibaraki confectionary company Riska, who shipped in 16,000 of its Super Big Choco bars.

All students had to do was show up to the pick-up point on Friday wearing a mask and with their student ID card, and they’d receive a bundle put together by the organizers. They were even told to bring a rolling suitcase if they had one, so large were the care packets.

It’s a truly touching display of kindness, one that not only fills the stomach but warms the heart too. It’s especially moving since the contributions were made with no expectation of compensation, just a desire to help students need, and likely the hope that somewhere down the road, they’ll do the same to help the future’s young people if they’re in need.

Source: Twitter/@Futureship1 via IT Media
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