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Algarve Food Bank volunteers collect 125 tonnes in two days

riceThe weekend Food Bank collection across the Algarve resulted in 125 tonnes of donated foodstuffs, down slightly on last year’s record amount but filling the Faro and Portimão warehouses.

The public was willing but a shortage of volunteers reduced the number of the region’s supermarkets where collections were mounted.

Nuno Cabrita Alves, the main in charge in the Algarve, praised the work of his volunteer groups at supermarkets and at the distribution centres, for their "personal efforts in making this campaign successful.”

Participating stores numbered 125, 15 fewer than planned with non-perishable foods such as milk, rice and pasta accounting for half of donations received.

Nationally, the Food Bank Against Hunger collected 1,921 tonnes of food over the weekend in a campaign involving 2,015 supermarkets and over 40,000 volunteers.

The national total collected was down 8% on the May 2015 campaign with a downturn in customer traffic in stores partially accounting for the decline.

Isabel Jonet, president of the Federation of Portuguese Food Banks, justifies said the drop in customer flow was because the weekend came after a public holiday last Thursday meaning many people also took Friday off and went away.

Even taking this into account, Jonet considered the results as "very positive" and the 8,000 recipient families and individuals in the Algarve will continue to receive basic foods which otherwise they could not afford.

The online donations website is still open at www.alimentestaideia.net and the campaign is continuing until June 5th at Pingo Doce, Continente, Minipreço, Makro, Jumbo, Pingo Doce and Lidl.