How to Prevent Japanese Social Isolation

Image of providing free meals once a week

Do you know?

Japan has the highest rate of social isolation in the world.

According to OECD data from 2005, Japan ranks second in the world regarding overall social isolation.

In terms of men alone, Japan ranks first in terms of social isolation.


(Reference: 0020063B-1_OK.indd (

Despite this social problem of "loneliness" within Japan, the 2022 survey reveals that 88.2% of the respondents do not receive any support from government agencies, NPOs, or other organizations.

Regarding participation in social activities, 53.9% of the respondents do not participate in any particular activities, but 51.5% would actively talk to or help others if they had concerns or worries.

(Reference: tyosakekka_point.pdf (

Surprisingly, the percentage of those supporting other companies was highest among men and women aged 16-19.

In other words, the situation is that although social isolation is a social problem in Japan, many young people want to participate in social activities, although they do not receive any particular support from the government or NPOs or participate in social activities.

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Aims and Objectives of the Project

Therefore, as a solution to this problem, we propose to start a non-profit organization that will provide free meals once a week.

The purpose and objective of this project is to provide a free meal once a week to the elderly and socially isolated people in the community.

This project aims to address the food insecurity and health issues faced by the elderly and isolated population, while also contributing to the revitalization of the local community.

Specifically, by providing an opportunity for local people to come together and socialize, the project aims to reduce social isolation and strengthen community ties.

Solving Social Problems

The project will provide an approach to address issues facing our society such as

  • isolation of the elderly
  • improving quality of life
  • reducing health care costs
  • combating poverty
  • enhancing disaster preparedness functions

Governments, local governments, and private companies can also expect to benefit from this project.

Governments and local governments can support this project because it will improve the health and welfare of local residents.

Private companies can also expect to improve their CSR and brand image by participating in this project as a social contribution activity.

Isolation of the Elderly

Japan's elderly population is growing rapidly, and many of these people are socially isolated.

Causes of isolation include deteriorating physical health and the death of a spouse or friend.

Elderly people in these situations are less likely to leave their homes in order to maintain their own lives.

As a result, social connections can become tenuous, amplifying feelings of loneliness and anxiety and negatively impacting physical and mental health.

Providing free weekly meals is one effective way to address the problem of social isolation among the elderly.

By providing meals, seniors have the opportunity to interact with others in the community.

Especially if the meal is provided on a regular weekly basis, the elderly may look forward to that day and look forward to getting out and about.

Eating together can also provide an opportunity for communication.

They can feel socially connected by listening to their own stories and those of others.

In addition, they can build mutual trust with those who serve them and with those they share meals with.

As a result, the elderly will feel less lonely and anxious and will be able to maintain their physical and mental health.

Improved Quality of Life

Loneliness and isolation can cause people to lose their social connections and experience anxiety and stress in their daily lives.

With social isolation lifted, people can change their surroundings and take advantage of a variety of new opportunities.

For example, people can make new friends and associates, share common hobbies and interests, and gain new experiences.

In addition, the provision of free meals once a week helps people reduce their grocery costs, thereby reducing their financial burden.

This allows people to reduce their living expenses and improve their quality of life.

In addition, the weekly meals also serve as a social event.

People can interact and reaffirm their social ties through the meal.

The combination of these factors can be expected to improve people's quality of life.

Reduction in health care costs

Social isolation can lead to health problems.

For example, elderly people who are socially isolated may be at increased risk for deteriorating physical health and dementia.

Social isolation can also lead to stress, depression, and other mental health problems.

These health problems can lead to increased healthcare costs.

However, social isolation can be reduced by providing free weekly meals.

Interacting through meals can improve people's physical and mental health and prevent health problems.

This can result in reduced healthcare costs.

For example, if seniors can maintain their health, they may not need to be hospitalized or treated, thereby reducing healthcare costs.

Improved mental health can also reduce the cost of treatment for depression and anxiety disorders.

As described above, the provision of free weekly meals is expected to reduce medical costs.

Helping to Fight Poverty

Free meals are an important measure to reduce the financial burden for the poor and needy.

Especially for those with limited income, such as welfare recipients and pensioners, the savings on food costs are significant.

Also, for those who have difficulty cooking for themselves, free nutritionally balanced meals can be a healthy option.

When people are unable to cook for themselves, they often eat unbalanced diets, such as processed foods and convenience foods, so free, well-balanced meals can help them maintain good health.

Due to these effects, free meals can be a valuable source of support for the poor and needy.

Strengthening Disaster Prevention Functions

In times of disaster, it can be difficult to secure food.

However, this project will help to ensure food security in times of disaster by establishing a system in which local residents can jointly provide meals.

Specifically, facilities and equipment will be provided for local residents to prepare meals, and they will be able to use these facilities to prepare meals together.

In addition, foodstuffs and equipment for serving meals will be stockpiled in advance so that they can be used quickly and appropriately in the event of a disaster.

This will allow local residents to share meals among themselves, reducing the likelihood of food shortages.

Furthermore, joint cooperation among local residents will help strengthen disaster prevention functions in the event of a disaster.

Benefits for Affiliates

Government and local governments can contribute to the lives and health of local residents by supporting this project.

In particular, in terms of welfare and disaster prevention policies, there is a need for support tailored to the needs of local residents, and this project can meet those needs.

Private companies can also develop social contribution activities by participating in this project.

In terms of corporate social responsibility (CSR), contributing to local communities has become an important aspect of CSR.

Through this project, companies can contribute to local residents, which is expected to improve their CSR and enhance their brand image.

It may also lead to the creation of new business opportunities by creating interaction with local residents.

About the free meals to be distributed

For the free meals to be distributed, we recommend that you ask supermarkets or other places to donate free or cheap food that is nearing its expiration date and use it to provide food.

We also aim to promote the revitalization of the local community by recruiting volunteers and allowing anyone to participate.

The idea is to offer volunteers the privilege of taking home some of the food they receive free of charge.

The project aims to provide meals to food-insecure people while addressing the larger social issue of food loss reduction.

However, please be very careful about the quality of the food you provide and ensure that it is prepared in hygienic conditions.

It is also a good idea to take into consideration the nutritional balance of the food served and to work with volunteers to improve it so that it is acceptable to as many people as possible.

Project Location

Possible project locations include school home economics rooms, churches and temples, community centers, volunteer centers, sports clubs and gyms, co-working spaces, restaurants, and cafes.

School Home Economics Rooms

School home economics rooms may be equipped with a kitchen for use in cooking classes.

They may also be available free of charge after school and on weekends.

Churches and Temples

Churches and temples may have kitchens and meeting rooms.

They may also offer them free of charge as part of their contribution to the community.

Community centers

Community centers are public facilities used by local residents and may be equipped with kitchens to host cooking classes and nutrition education events.

Some facilities may be available free of charge.

Volunteer Centers

Volunteer centers are facilities for volunteer activities and may be equipped to cook and distribute food.

Sports clubs and gyms

Some sports clubs and gyms may have shared kitchens that are available to non-members.

Coworking spaces

Coworking spaces are facilities that provide shared office space, some of which may have kitchen space.

Some facilities may be available free of charge.

Restaurants and Cafes

Restaurants and cafes may be available free of charge after closing or during off-peak hours.

Some may also be offered as a community service.

However, each facility's use and reservation procedures vary and should be confirmed in advance.

It is also important to explain the purpose and content of your project to the facility provider and ask for their cooperation.


Grant application procedures, grant criteria, and anticipated grant amounts vary from region to region.

First, it is important to contact the local government, social welfare council, NPO organization, or foundation to gather information about grants.

To apply for a grant, you must meet the requirements of each grant organization.

For example, the grant may be limited to a children's cafeteria or to a specific region.

The amount of the grant varies depending on the granting agency and the type of project being funded.

They can range from tens of thousands of yen to several million yen.

When applying, applicants must submit a specific activity plan and budget proposal, and if selected, activities will proceed according to that budget.

Other funding methods include donations and crowdfunding.

Donations can be collected from local residents or companies.

In order to collect donations, it is necessary to produce a brochure or website explaining the project's objectives and activities.

Crowdfunding can also be used.

Crowdfunding is a method of collecting small amounts of funds from a large number of people via the Internet, and it is important to promote the project's appeal points.

However, please note that crowdfunding may charge a fee.

How to Attract Customers

One way to attract customers for a free meal distribution project is to create a website.

The cheapest way to create a website is to purchase a Google domain and run it on Google Sites or Blogger.

For SEO-conscious websites in particular, including "meals free (local name)" in the site's meta description and in the title of articles will make it easier for people to find you in search results.

There are some articles about Blogger that explain how to get started and how to use it, which you can refer to.

However, if you want to attract mainly young people, social networking sites such as YouTube, TikTok, Twitter, and Instagram are more important than Internet searches.

Especially for videos, having your own media and collaborating with famous YouTubers are possibilities.

Attracting SNS customers requires a strategic approach, including the content to be distributed and the target audience. However, being active on a platform used by many young people can effectively attract customers.

Launching an NPO that provides free meals once a week is expected to address various social issues such as social isolation, poverty, and food waste problems.

In Japan, in particular, there are many elderly people, people living alone, welfare recipients, low-income earners, and people in need due to sudden unemployment.

Providing these people with free meals even once a week could help them break free from social isolation and support their daily lives.

It can also address food loss and waste issues.

In many cases, restaurants and supermarkets end up discarding food, which can be collected and used to provide free meals, thereby reducing food waste.

Furthermore, the free meal program can serve as a place to interact with people from different walks of life.

By bringing people together and interacting with each other over meals, the project is expected to help revitalize the local community.

If you have any consultation or comments on this project proposal, please feel free to comment.

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