TABLE FOR TWO Celebrates World Food Day 2016 – Change the World With Onigiri (Rice Ball)

Press Release ( - Oct 06, 2016 - ​​This fall, TABLE FOR TWO USA (TFT), a non-profit organization that aims to tackle obesity and hunger issues simultaneously, will hold a World Food Day 2016 campaign from October 11th to November 30th. The campaign promotes healthy Japanese food and aims to provide 1 million meals to children in need.

As a part of the campaign, it will feature the popular Japanese food “Onigiri” (rice ball), and hold major events in New York City, Washington DC, Texas and California. The campaign features an interactive online site ( where TFT supporters and fans can participate by posting photos of onigiri enjoyment. .

As an NPO with roots in Japan, TABLE FOR TWO promotes the enjoyment of Japanese food culture through this campaign and aims to deliver one million meals to children in need.

Mayumi Uejima-Carr, Co-President of TABLE FOR TWO USA

TABLE FOR TWO was first established in Japan in 2007 and has spread to 14 countries, including the U.S. Japanese food culture is acknowledged as one of the world’s healthiest and is spreading widely around the world. As an NPO with roots in Japan, TFT promotes the enjoyment of Japanese food. Onigiri is featured to celebrate Rice, one of the major Japanese agricultural products, and to showcase the Japanese tradition of making onigiri for others with love.​ ​

The World Food Day campaign will feature a special interactive site that will be launched from October 11th until November 30th; TFT fans and supporters can submit photos of their own onigiri enjoyment to the site.

Sponsor organizations (Genji Sushi Bars, J.C.C. Fund/ Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of New York, JFC International/Nishiki, Japan Commerce Association of Washington D.C. Foundation, Zojirushi America, San-J, Yamamotoyama of America, Misuzu Corporation, Otafuku Foods, BentOn, Onigilly, Udemy) will donate 5 school meals per photo submitted. In Africa, a 25 cent donation funds one school meal to a child. In the U.S., the same donation enables schools to provide a school meal upgraded with fresh vegetables and fruits in low-income neighborhood districts.​  ​

The first onigiri photo action was held in 2015 and over 5,000 photos were posted to deliver 25,000 school meals. Among the all the great photos, the Best of the Best Onigiri photos were awarded. Below are some of the highlights in the US. The goal of 2016 campaign is to have over 15,000 photos.

“First-time Onigiri” Award 
Students who had never eaten onigiri before got a recipe and gave it a try to provide school meals to Africa 

“Best Onigiri Smile” Award
Ambassador Sasae posed happily with onigiri.​

“Let’s be Onigiri!” Award
TFT supporters made this special onigiri mask and everybody loved the chance to be in the middle!​

During the campaign period, Genji Sushi Bars’ “Happy Bento”, Yamamotoyama of America’s “Ariake Roasted Seaweed”, Hanada’s “White Birch Glazed Oval Plate (by Kazuhiko Kudo)”, Toiro Kitchen’s donabe (Japanese clay pot) rice cooker, “Kamado-san” will be sold and a portion of the sales will fund TFT’s mission. In addition to the online campaign, TFT will host events in major cities.

In New York City, TFT will participate in Japan Fes on October 16th. TFT will sell donated products such as Genji Sushi Bars’ Sukiyaki Beef Rice Bowl, Otafuku Foods’ Okonomiyaki Kit (Japanese savory pancake) and marukome USA’s Miso soup. All the proceeds will be donated to provide school meals. Participants can try their own hand at making onigiri at the TFT booth. During the campaign period, BentOn will sell special healthy onigiri.

In DC, Hana Japanese Market will sell onigiri with donation and plans to have a store event. And at Tako Grill, Sushi Express, Sushi Taro and Rice Bar, healthy TFT selections will be available on the menu. The Japan Commerce Association of Washington D.C. Foundation will support a school in a low-income community in D.C. with improved access to healthier school meals with fresh fruits and vegetables. On one of the school days, a special onigiri will be provided to the students and they have an opportunity to learn how to make onigiri.

In Los Angeles, Japan Foundation Los Angeles and TFT will host onigiri workshops by inviting Ms. Naoko Moore to the Japanese Food Festival on Nov 13th. Sushi Chef Institute will provide a “1 day sushi workshop” and a portion of the program fee will be donated (Sushi Workshop for Good). In San Francisco, Onigilly will sell onigiri with donation. In Dallas, an onigiri photo booth will be set up at Otsukimi Moon Viewing Celebration hosted by the Japan-America Society of Dallas/Fort Worth on Oct 15th.

In Boston, “Oishi October Festival” will be held at Boston University by inviting Ms. Debra Samuels on Oct 28th. It will be a fun-filled and educational evening to make delicious (oishi) popular Japanese foods: rice balls (onigiri), savory pancake (okonomiyaki) and rice stuffed fried tofu skin pockets (oinarisan).

“We are thrilled to be launching our World Food Day campaign this fall in an effort to provide meals to children in need,” said Mayumi Uejima-Carr, Co-President of TABLE FOR TWO USA. “Everyone can participate in the campaign through the campaign site, events and restaurants. We hope those who participate in the campaign enjoy the unique experience to make a difference by eating healthy Japanese food.”

To visit the campaign site, please visit: For more information about TFT, please visit:


TABLE FOR TWO USA (TFT) is a 501(C)(3) organization that that addresses the opposite issues of hunger and obesity through a unique “meal-sharing” program. TFT partners with corporations, restaurants, schools and other food establishments to serve healthy, low- calorie, TFT-branded meals. For each one of these healthy meals served, a small portion of the cost is donated to provide one school meal for a child in need. In this way, TFT has served healthy meals to both sides of the “table” and helped to right the global food imbalance. TFT started in Japan and now operates in 14 countries. As one of the most well-known NPOs in Japan which is noted for the longevity of its people, TFT promotes Japanese healthy eating culture as well to tackle the critical health issues.



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