WHAT WE LIKE
- Doesn’t need to qualify. As long as it’s a child, they are entitled to get a free meal.
- Ticket buyers can share encouraging words with the local children.
- Fast growing, highly supported by Okinawan businesses and media.
This relatively new Japanese NPO is already making an impact on the children living in poverty in Okinawa. NPO Taco Rice Lovers is a network of F&B stores that sell Taco Rice, a beloved local Okinawan dish. And they all introduced the Mirai Ticket system, which allows children to get free Taco Rice to eat.
Taco Rice Lovers actually started first as a hobby group on Facebook. But circumstances led the founder, Munenori Yamagawa, to turn it into a group for social good. Together with the media backing of Okinawa Times, Okinawa’s local newspaper, a crowdfunding project to make Taco Rice lovers official began. The Taco Rice Lovers project planned to onboard restaurants throughout Okinawa, seeking to get their partnership in adopting the Mirai Ticket system. The crowdfunding project was an astounding success when crowdfunding ended September 2020.
At the moment of writing, the network has over 94 outlets offering the Mirai Ticket and free meals for children (map available here). Walking into any of the 40 restaurants participating in the Taco Rice Lovers project, you will find a board of white and orange tickets. Customers can choose to purchase these Mirai Tickets during payment, and put it on the board. Any children can pick up a ticket, and get a free meal from that food establishment.
Tucked behind these tickets are messages. These messages are written by you, the customers! You can write short words of encouragement for the children, so you might want to prepare something inspiring! This step is crucial for Taco Rice Lovers too, because it visualizes the desire of the Okinawan society to support the children. Especially for residents who are not unsure what they can do for children in poverty, buying a Mirai Ticket is a direct way they can help children.
You can read more about Taco Rice Lovers here.
(updated 28 July)
|Taco Rice Lovers
|Food for Children
|Partnership with multiple stores. Map available here.
|Dependent on partner.