Barrier Free Disability Japan Welfare

Oita Prefecture City promotes independence for people with disabilities through vending machines selling sweet baked potatoes

The work of filling the cans, replenishing the product line, and collecting empty cans is done by disabled people who use the Nanohana Club (Usuki City) of the Oita Kenan Regional Welfare Office.

From Oita Press

April 9 2021

OITA A vending machine for baked sweet potatoes has been set up at the Oita Matsuoka Parking Area (PA, Oita City) on the uphill route of the East Kyushu Expressway.

Nohuku Sangyo (Hyuga City, Miyazaki Prefecture, President: Yuji Kodama), which aims to promote independence of people with disabilities by combining agriculture and welfare, has been selling vacuum-packed baked sweet potatoes in cans since March.

There are two sizes available: regular (500 yen including tax) and half (400 yen including tax). The sweet potatoes are made from Kyushu-produced Beniharu, which is known for its rich sweetness.

The work of filling the cans, replenishing the product line, and collecting empty cans is done by disabled people who use the Nanohana Club (Usuki City) of the Oita Kenan Regional Welfare Office.

Starting in 2019, the company installed baked sweet potato vending machines at about 30 locations nationwide, including along national highways and at roadside stations. This is the first time they have been installed at a highway PA.

Kodama, 66, president of the company, says, “We want people to buy a lot of baked potatoes so that we can support the disabled.”

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