Many Japanese schools in turmoil as lunch provider faces bankruptcy

NHK -- Sep 07

A number of schools across Japan are urgently seeking ways to provide meals for their students following the sudden discontinuation of lunch catering services.

Hoyu, a food company based in Hiroshima City, western Japan, has been providing school lunches and dormitory meals. However, sources within the company revealed that it is considering filing for bankruptcy with the local district court, as its finances have worsened due to soaring food and utility costs.

This sudden development has left many high schools, special needs schools and police schools around Japan without meal services since the beginning of this month.

In response, some schools have resorted to having the faculty buy boxed lunches for the students. Others are asking students to bring their own lunches or turning to other caterers.

To assess the situation, officials from the Hiroshima Labor Bureau spent about two hours at the company's headquarters on Wednesday.

Hoyu's website says the company has 22 offices across Japan. It had 586 workers, including part-timers, as of April 2020.