The Little Bakery in Sendai

There is a little Bakery in the middle of Sendai that is providing food, drinks, and a glimmer of hope to local residents. By March 14th the Japan Jewish Relief Organization overseen by Chabad of Asia had commissioned a bakery to stay open and bake bread for people who had lost everything. Finding a functional bakery in Sendai was a miracle in itself, as this city was one of the most severely damaged cities in the area hurt by the earthquake and then later by the tsunami floods. Roy Somech with the backing of Chabad of Asia and a promise to do whatever is necessary arranged with a bakery to provide bread but there was no flour to be bought in Sendai.

Only it wasn’t as simple as just turning on the ovens and hiring people to bake the bread. There was no flour or other ingredients to bake with.

Calls were placed to Tokyo but there, too, nothing materialized. Finally, flour was purchased near Osaka. With extreme fuel shortages in northern Japan, the truckers refused to make the trip. Roy convinced the owner of the bakery to travel to Osaka with him. With the main highways closed, a trip that that should have taken 12 hours turned into a 24 hour journey each way.

Bread is now being baked around the clock and Japan Jewish Relief estimates they are baking about 5,000 rolls of fresh bread and distributing them per day. As food and other supplies become more and more scarce in the hardest hit regions of Japan this organization is solely dedicated to helping feed the people in Sendai and now neighboring communities. The organization

Along with the bread this organization is now trying to source other products including cups of noodles, bottled water, and other supplies for families devastated by the Earthquake and Tsunami.

The media and other independent sources recognize the Japan Jewish Relief – Chabad of Asia/Japan as the largest and main provider of food to people in the Sendai region while other organizations are involved in rescue and providing medical attention. JHELP, one of the largest Japanese NGO’s is asking for our assistance in face of the severe shortages on the ground.

The scene that awaited them in Ishinomaki

Yesterday their relief efforts reached out to the devastated city of Ishinomaki. Unlike Sendai, they have no operating bakery and chances are they will not be able to find one. Provisions are being brought with them from Sendai and the distribution is conducted in the field. With the fuel shortage and ingredient shortage the organization needs more help in order to reach all of those in need of food and necessities.

All Photos courtesy of Japan Jewish Relief

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