An increasing number of restaurants and stores in Okinawa Prefecture are introducing Mirai Tickets, a program through which customers buy free meal tickets priced at around ¥300 each and donate them so children of elementary school age or below can eat for free.

The program was started three years ago by Taco Rice Lovers, a group of volunteers headed by Munenori Yamagawa, a native of Kin, Okinawa Prefecture, using The Okinawa Times’ crowdfunding system.

As of the end of April, a total of 161 stores, including restaurants and major local supermarket chain Town Plaza Kanehide, were taking part in the program. It is currently offered in 92 elementary school districts and the group plans to make it available in all of some 250 elementary school districts in the prefecture by the end of the year.