Volunteers offer jobless temps free food, advice

Temp workers who have lost their jobs amid the global financial crisis lined up Wednesday for free food and consultations with volunteers at Tokyo’s Hibiya Park.

The event, sponsored by 20 groups, including unions, citizen groups and lawyers, will run through Monday.

The groups served up rice and pork miso soup and offered employment consultation and medical support, as well as mediating lodging services and organizing trips to public baths.

“I am grateful for having somewhere to come to over the New Year period, as I am currently homeless. The volunteers have been encouraging,” said a 38-year-old male ex-temp worker from Tokyo, who asked not to be named. “But I don’t yet have the prospect of a new job and next year is looking grim.”