Biodiversity / Food / Water

July 26, 2018


'Kodomo-Takushoku' Food Delivery Partnership a New Safety-Net Concept for Low-Income Families in Bunkyo City, Tokyo

Keywords: Food Policy / Systems 

Kodomo-Takushoku website.

The "Kodomo-Takushoku" project launched in 2017 as a food home delivery service to provide a safety net for child-rearing families living on tight finances in Tokyo's Bunkyo City. It delivers five to seven kilograms of food to needy families once every four to eight weeks. A major goal of the project is to prevent social isolation by checking in on families and children during the food deliveries and helping them get assistance before any possible problems get more serious.

The project is also attracting attention as a new business model. It is operated by a consortium including the municipal government and five organizations working together to solve social issues. It is funded by the national "Furusato Nozei" program (hometown tax) program launched in Japan in 2008, which gives gift items and tax deductions to taxpayers who make a donation to their own local municipality for designated programs. Qualifying families that wish to receive food home deliveries can subscribe using the popular LINE smartphone app. There is no form to fill out and no need to go to an office in person.

In 2017, the first year of this project, donations in Bunkyo City exceeded 80 million yen (about US$708,000), far above the initial target of 20 million yen (about US$177,000), and 150 families were served. In April 2018, the deliveries reached all 450 families that had applied.

Through this project, the city is actively working to conduct regular research using surveys and collects data aimed at reaching out to financially-strained families, a group that has traditionally been difficult for the government to reach. The city hopes its efforts will help identify new issues and better solutions.