2nd Harvest Japan’s Charles McJilton

EVENT: NGO Second Harvest Japan (2HJ) Special Lecture
SPEAKER: Mr. Charles McJilton (CEO and founder of 2HJ)
WHEN: December 13th (Friday), 1:20 PM – 2:50 PM
WHERE: Bldg 17, Room 512


Each day in Tokyo 6000 tons of food are thrown away. Charles McJilton knew that there must be a better way to reduce waste and get food to those who need it. He started an NGO in Japan (2HJ) that presently has nearly 20 organizations registered with it, ranging from open-air kitchens serving the homeless to women’s shelters and a home for unwed mothers. These groups receive rice and other food products directly or indirectly from 2HJ on a regular basis. To date, the organization has redistributed over 8000 tons of food. Since March 2011, 2HJ has also provided food and disaster relief supplies to the Tohoku region.

Having first come to Japan in 1984 while serving in the U.S. military on the USS Towers DDG9, Mr. Charles McJilton has been the CEO of 2HJ since 2002. He is also an adjunct professor at Sophia University teaching NGO management and issues related to the nonprofit sector. Since 2010, he has been the Chair of Second Harvest Asia, promoting the development of food banks in Asia and networking with existing food banks in the region to share best practices. As if he did not wear enough hats already, from January 2011, Mr. McJilton has taken the role of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) committee chair for the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan. Last year he became the founder and chair of the first incorporated food bank in the Philppines, Salu-Salo, which was very good timing considering the devastating Typhoon Haiyan that struck the Philippines a few weeks ago. (http://www.2hj.org)


CNN video about 2hj: “Redirecting unwanted food”

Japan Times article: Second Harvest rallies support for Tohoku

Staff bios

Making care packages (manga)

Manga about the career path of one of 2HJ’s important Japanese staff members, Rumi Ide

Asahi Shinbun article about Tohoku relief activities of 2HJ

A visual history of 2HJ

フードバンク挑戦 / Food Banking in Japan (in Japanese)

In his talk, the speaker may touch upon these topics:

  • The problem of waste in developed countries like Japan
  • The issue of food self-sufficiency and its connection to waste
  • Who 2HJ helps and how they go about doing it
  • The problem of homelessness in Japan and how 2HJ makes the homeless, and others with food insecurity, aware of 2HJ’s existence and services
  • How university students can get involved in volunteering for 2HJ
  • How 2HJ deals with issues like religious or cultural food restrictions among recipients when redistributing food
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