Food Outreach Volunteering in Belgium - Brussels
Keen to be a Food Outreach volunteer in Belgium? International Volunteer HQ’s Food Outreach project empowers volunteers to assist local initiatives in their efforts to feed the homeless and others in need. Volunteers gain experience in food preparation and distribution as well as community development while helping make life a little easier for vulnerable people on the streets of Brussels.
- Programs start every second and fourth Monday of the month
- Affordable fees from AU$956 for 1 week
- Includes accommodation, orientation and 24/7 support
Prepare and serve food for refugees and the homeless
Enjoy Belgium’s spirited culture
Meet other travellers in hostels in Brussels
Who is this program suited to?
What to expect and how you'll make an impact
People who are homeless or otherwise disadvantaged often can’t afford to feed themselves or their families. Not knowing where their next meal is coming from can be a source of real distress. Belgium has a handful of initiatives designed to help feed people in need. These causes typically have low budgets, so often rely on volunteer support to continue their good work. Volunteers often enjoy being able to see the difference their help makes to people’s lives.
As a Food Outreach volunteer your duties will include:
- Helping distribute meals
- Preparing and serving breakfasts for refugees who are waiting either outside the immigration office attempting to seek asylum in Belgium or at one of the many refugee centres in Brussels
- Running sandwich distribution projects
- Food preparation and cooking
- Packing and cleaning
- Connecting with vulnerable people who often don’t have close family or friends
Why do Food Outreach volunteering in Brussels with IVHQ?
When you volunteer to feed the homeless in Belgium you’ll be adding value to the local community, while also developing personally and professionally by:
- Improving food security for Belgium’s vulnerable people
- Providing opportunities for social connection
- Developing your communication skills
- Gaining food preparation and cooking experience
- Immersing yourself in Belgian culture
- Exploring the captivating capital city of Brussels
- Volunteers must be at least 16 years old to join projects in Belgium. Those aged between 16 and 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to participate.
- All volunteers aged 16+ are required to provide a criminal background check to IVHQ prior to departure. Those aged 16-17, if unable to obtain a criminal background check, can provide two character reference letters instead
- All volunteers are required to have adequate volunteer travel insurance
- All volunteers must speak fluent English.
- Please note: IVHQ accommodation in Belgium requires you to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
Belgium photo gallery
”I found the program to be an amazing and inspiring experience. I enjoyed that I got to try different areas, see, participate and observe more than one way of helping and making a difference. Overall, I feel like the program has given me a good overview of the life "beyond the line" and the things I can do later in life to help. Many thanks to the group leade...rs and the people working at the centers for guiding us through the process and allowing us to get started as soon as we arrived. The IVHQ staff provide good support and I felt much at ease knowing that I can contact them at any given time. It was a truly beautiful experience that allowed me to grow and develop as an individual. Not only through the work we have done but also the people I met who helped me to expand my understanding of the world we live in.” read more
Read reviews from Food Outreach volunteers in BrusselsSee more reviews
In Belgium, IVHQ’s program is set in the buzzing capital city of Brussels. Famed for its mouth-watering food and rich multicultural atmosphere the city is packed with interesting events, architecture, historical sites and art work. Volunteer placements are located throughout the wider city of Brussels and its neighborhoods and you’ll be staying just 5 minutes from the city centre via tram or metro. Belgium’s central location also makes it easy to get to many other European countries.
Arrival and orientation
The program orientation begins on the second and fourth Monday of every month, and volunteers need to arrive in Brussels no later than the Sunday before orientation.
After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive at Brussels Airport (BRU). Your airport pick-up is included in your Program Fee.
When you arrive, you will be greeted at the airport by a member of the local team and taken to the volunteer accommodation. The cost of your accommodation is covered by your Program Fee and includes the night before your program orientation through to (and including) the Friday night of your final week.
If you are travelling in Belgium prior to your volunteer program, we can arrange for you to be picked up from any of the main stations in Brussels on the day before your program orientation.
Orientation is hosted by our Belgium team on the morning of your start date. The orientation covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in Belgium – an introduction to Belgium, culture and customs, rules and expectations, safety, travel opportunities, an introduction to your project and placement and a brief city tour of the area surrounding the hostel. The orientation will also give you a chance to meet other volunteers with whom you can swap contact details for weekend travel and socialising.
Volunteer schedule example
Your daily schedule will vary depending on the project you choose. You will receive a weekly schedule at orientation that will cover your first one or two weeks.
Start times and daily workloads will vary depending on the needs of the project, but on average you’ll be volunteering for 4 hours a day. On some projects, such as Food Outreach, volunteer work can start very early in the morning; other projects take place in the afternoon. If you need to do more hours each day for a particular requirement, please let the team know ahead of time so that they can schedule your volunteer project accordingly.
Outside of projects, you are free to use your time as you wish. However, occasionally you may be asked to assist with a special event on an evening or a Saturday, in which case the local team will arrange another day off for you to make up for the time. However, if this conflicts with other plans, just let the local team know so they can make other arrangements.
When you do have a free weekend, you’ll be able to explore Brussels - a city bursting with art, architecture, history and a grand mixture of European culture.
In this foodie paradise you’ll be able to treat your tastebuds to Belgium’s famous culinary delights including frites, waffles and chocolate. When you’re not indulging in the local delicacies, you can check out historical sites, such as La Grand Place, Parc du Cinquantenaire, and the unique Atomium landmark building. Your weekends can also be spent visiting areas further afield in Belgium, including the beautiful city of Bruges, the ancient cities of Antwerp and Ghent, or taking a trip to the Belgian coastline.
If time allows, you’ll also be able to take advantage of being in central Europe and visiting the neighbouring countries of France, Germany and the Netherlands. You can make travel arrangements once in Brussels with the advice and guidance of the local team.
Accommodation and WiFi
You’ll stay in hostels in Brussels with volunteers and other travellers. The hostels are about 5 minutes from the centre of Brussels via tram or metro. Brussels has a one-week-stay policy which means volunteers get to experience a new hostel each week.
You can expect to share a room with up to 6 others, and share a communal bathroom which has toilets and showers. Bedding and a bath towel are provided. It is the responsibility of the volunteer to ensure their room and the shared bathroom are kept tidy during their time on the program. Free WiFi is available at the volunteer accommodation.
Private room upgrades are also possible for an additional cost, subject to availability. The cost is between AU$88to AU$133 per night, depending on the upgrade. This can be arranged with the local team directly, once registered.
Please note that during busy periods, the accommodation can vary slightly to the description above.
As a volunteer you will be preparing your own meals while on the program. The hostel has a kitchen and there are shops nearby where you can buy food. You can also head out for meals to try the many delicacies that Brussels has to offer.
Tap water is fine to drink in Belgium, however, bottled water is readily available if you prefer and you should budget approximately $10 per week for this.
Due 30 days before you start, or within 48 hours if you register inside of 30 days. Covers the cost of hosting you.
|1 week||AU$957 Equivalent to AU$137/day|
|2 weeks||AU$1804 Equivalent to AU$129/day|
|3 weeks||AU$2635 Equivalent to AU$126/day|
|4 weeks||AU$3541 Equivalent to AU$127/day|
|5 weeks||AU$4358 Equivalent to AU$125/day|
|6 weeks||AU$5175 Equivalent to AU$124/day|
- 24/7 in-country support
- In-country program orientation
- Pre-departure support from your Program Manager
- Personalized preparation tools, guides and check lists
- Access to IVHQ’s preferred insurance and flights partners
- Certificate of International Volunteering
- All programs attract a Registration Fee of AU$443 in addition to the Program Fee. This covers all pre-departure support services. IVHQ fees are priced in USD but you may elect to pay in AUD.
- A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
- Additional things to budget for include: Visa, flights, travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check, meals, public transport to and from your placement each day and return to the airport when your program finishes.
- Recommended spending money: Volunteers in Belgium generally find US$200 to be sufficient for basic weekly expenses including transport and miscellaneous expenses.
- Cancellations or changes within 14 days of the program start date for the Belgium program are subject to a US$200 admin fee.
Check what's required to visit Belgium
Check out the widget below to find out what the Covid-19 restrictions and visa requirements are for Belgium, based on your country of residence.
Safety and support
IVHQ follows best practice and industry-leading health and safety procedures, which are regularly reviewed and optimized as part of the B Corporation recertification.
- All volunteers encouraged to complete our interactive pre-departure training.
- All local teams trained on best practice volunteer management & First Aid.
- All IVHQ programs are required to adhere to IVHQ's Risk Management Policy.
- All volunteers have access to 24/7 in-country support from our local team.
Protecting against COVID-19:
Volunteers tested for COVID-19 within 72 hours of travel
Health & safety information provided during orientation
Strict disinfecting standards for programs & accomodation
Greater physical distance between volunteers
Essential country information
|Languages||Dutch, German, French|
Weather and climate
Belgium usually has cold winters and comfortably warm summers. The average temperature is around 37°F (3°C) in January, and 64°F (18°C) in July with average rainfall being 2.6 in (65mm) in January, and 3.1in (78 mm) in July.