As Christmas approaches, and people stock up on seasonal delicacies such as turron (almond nougat), polvorones , and mantecados, many of us think about those less fortunate, for whom getting by is a struggle. In Spain families are an amazing source of mutual support, with mothers and grandmothers feeding the whole extended clan, but sometimes there's just not enough to go round.
So it's great when everyone gets together to help. Last Friday and Saturday, 30 November and 1 December, was La Gran Recogida. This is a huge, nation-wide food collection drive; here in Andalucia it was organised by the Federacion de Bancos del Alimentos de Andalucia (the Andalucia Federaction of Food Banks). Thousands of supermarkets around the region took part, with bags handed out for people to collect basic goods - such as milk, rice, sugar and pulses - for those most in need.
Thanks to the generosity of the public, along with the collaboration of the stores and the help of more than 10,000 volunteers, a staggering amount of food was collected - over 1500 tons! They had set a target of 915 tons, so the final amount represents over 50% more than their aim - pretty impressive.
The amounts collected by province are as follows - many provinces doubled their targets (shown in brackets)
Sevilla 400 (250) tons; Malaga 250 (150) tons; Granada 150 (100) tons; Jaen 250 (150)tons; Huelva 80 (40) tons; Cordoba 160 (80) tons; Cadiz 125 (69) tons; Almeria 150 (80) tons.
It's very heart-warming to read of people's generosity to their fellow Andalucians in such straightened times. Some supermarkets are also offering solidario versions of seasonal goods.