Food drives, volunteer activities to stockpile, donate and distribute food to needy people, are increasing in Japan as poverty expands.

"There are people supported by the food you donate," reads a message on the Kizuna (bond) Box in the corner of a supermarket in Ushiku, Ibaraki Prefecture.

Donated food is sent to Food Bank Ibaraki, a nonprofit organization, and distributed to people in need, such as families headed by single mothers and the households of jobless people, through local social welfare councils or other entities.