TABLE FOR TWO's ONIGIRI ACTION Campaign Provides 900,000 School Meals With 200,000 'Onigiri' Rice Ball Photo Posts in 31 Days

ONIGIRI ACTION Photo Award 2020

TABLE FOR TWO (TFT) USA, a non-profit organization that aims to tackle obesity and global hunger issues, organized its sixth annual social good campaign called ONIGIRI ACTION. The campaign, which commemorates World Food Day, ran throughout October. Sponsoring organizations donated five school meals to children in need around the world for every photo of onigiri posted to the campaign website or social media with #OnigiriAction.

A total of 202,143 photos were posted in just 31 days – with posts from 31 countries, TFT will provide 900,000 warm school meals. It could reach to the maximum number of school meals to be supported from this campaign on the last day. In the U.S., a single 25-cent donation can be used to provide more nutritious meals in socioeconomically disadvantaged neighborhoods by adding fresh vegetables and fruits. TFT funds one school meal to a child in East Africa and Asia with the same 25-cent donation.

Eight "Best Onigiri Awards 2020" photos were selected to commemorate this success. The photographs can be found here:

Sponsor Organizations: J.C.C. Fund/Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of New York, JFC International/Nishiki, JCAW Foundation, Zojirushi America, San-J, ITOCHU International, SMBC Global Foundation, Misuzu Corporation, MUFG Union Bank, N.A., Sumitomo Corporation of Americas, Mishima Foods U.S.A., Just One Cookbook, BentOn, Onigilly, Sunny Blue, Omusubee

Events and Collaboration Across the U.S.: Onigiri Action 2020 has been unique with a focus on virtual events. This has expanded participation reaching greater and more diverse groups across the country.

Japan Foundation Los Angeles hosted the largest virtual onigiri event with about 100 attendees by inviting a Five-Star Rice Meister. Wonderland Elementary School students received “Onigiri Action Kits” that included basic ingredients and materials to make onigiri as part of TFT's Japanese-inspired food education class. Kits were provided through the new partnership between TFT USA, The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of JAPAN and The Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Los Angeles.

Many schools across the U.S. organized fun ONIGIRI ACTION events. The students rose to meet the challenge of achieving zero hunger. Ingredients were delivered to students to participate in virtual onigiri making. JFC International generously donated Nishiki rice and Mishima Foods USA provided rice seasoning; JCAW Foundation and MUFG Union Bank, N.A., participated in the classes; also thanks to all the sponsors for supporting these events. 

Sumitomo Corporation of Americas organized a virtual event where employees across the U.S. and South America connected to make creative onigiri to directly support local schools in neighborhoods near their offices.

The Edwin O. Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies (RIJS) at Harvard University has spread Onigiri Action through a creative way and received the “Best Team Award” for 2020. Staff and students inspired Onigiri Action participation by calling on organizations and members to “pay it forward” with more onigiri posts on social media.

The US Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme Alumni Association (JETAA) had an exciting Cook-Along event featuring delicious (“oishii”) Gochiso/Gourmet Onigiri.

In 2020, many more households are facing economic hardship and food insecurity has increased due to the pandemic. #OnigiriAction takes center stage by providing healthy school meals and food education to tackle critical health issues.

About TABLE FOR TWO USA: TFT is a 501(c)(3) organization that addresses issues of hunger and obesity by providing school meals to children in need and teaching healthy eating to students through its unique food education program Wa-Shokuiku - Learn. Cook. Eat Japanese!

Torie Silverstone ​​



Categories: Non Profit

Tags: Children, Food Education, Healthy Eating, Hunger, Japanese food, Obesity, Onigiri, Rice Balls, SDGs, Washoku, World Food Day, ZeroHunger


View Website

TABLE FOR TWO USA is a 501(C)(3) organization that addresses the joint issues of hunger and obesity through a unique meal sharing program and food education program called "Wa-Shokuiku -Learn. Cook. Eat Japanese!-".

P.O. Box 1103
New York, NY 10163
United States