Wales

Travellers' foodbank challenge sees donations flood in

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Media captionSue Leake says Flintshire food bank supplies food to about 500 people a month

Travellers left food bank staff stunned after a social media challenge saw trolley loads of donations flood in.

The Food Bank Challenge has seen travellers post footage online of them buying goods for the needy before nominating a friend to do the same.

Food bank volunteers in Flintshire said the overwhelming response has seen supermarkets almost run out of storage space.

Project manager Sue Leake joked: "It's caused us a logistical nightmare."

The foodbank challenge started in late November and has seen scores of videos posted to Facebook and Twitter.

Among those taking part is north Wales traveller Martin Gallagher.

Mr Gallagher, who works for the Travelling Ahead project, said: "It was started by a guy called Watson Harrop Junior and it's really taken off from there.

"I think it's struck a such a chord because we know how difficult things are for a lot of people right now, especially families.

"I've known around 60 people who have taken part so far."

Image caption Martin Gallagher says he hopes the charity drive will counter prejudices about travellers

Flintshire foodbank boss Ms Leake said staff did not know about the social media challenge until they went to collect food bank donations from a local supermarket.

"Trolleys were full to the brim £80 of 90 worth of shopping," she added.

"There were so many donations at one supermarket we had to start collecting items from 5am.

"When we heard about the foodbank challenge - we then realised where these donations had come from."

Ms Leake said volunteers were incredibly grateful for the gesture to the foodbank.

She added: "Travellers often get a bad press, but they've got big hearts and the experience we have had has been overwhelmingly positive."

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