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Food Rescue Volunteer Project in Portugal - Lisbon

Food Rescue Volunteer Project in Portugal - Lisbon

Want to reduce waste and fill bellies as a Food Rescue volunteer in Portugal? International Volunteer HQ’s Food Rescue project is a great way for volunteers to make a meaningful difference to people in Lisbon who can’t afford to feed themselves. Volunteers gain experience in food outreach while assisting a sustainable community initiative that aims to eliminate food waste and end hunger by recovering food from local restaurants and supermarkets and giving it to families, the elderly and homeless people in need.

Highlights:
  • Programs start every Monday
  • Affordable fees from $705 for 1 week
  • Includes accommodation, meals, airport pick up, orientation and 24/7 support
  • Redistribute leftover food to hundreds of locals in need

  • Explore the vibrant, charming city of Lisbon

  • Stay in a sustainable hostel only a short walk from the beach

Key information

Help end hunger & food waste
Local community initiatives
Dormitory-style hostel
Volunteers aged 16+ or 13+ accompanied
Fully hosted experience from $705 for 1 week
Durations from 1 - 12 weeks
Portugese lessons available in-country
Up to 4 hours volunteering a day

This program is ideal for:

Volunteers who like being active, hands-on, care about sustainability and food security and want to help provide basic necessities for vulnerable people.
Who is this program suited to?

What to expect and how you'll make an impact

The Food Rescue project in Portugal is aiming to solve two problems at the same time; limiting food waste and fighting food poverty. In the world, one in ten people are undernourished and approximately 828 million people are unsure of where their next meal is coming from.

As a Food Rescue volunteer, you’ll join the efforts of a community movement aiming to eliminate food waste and end hunger. You will be involved in the daily operations of recovering food from local establishments and redistributing it to people in need. There are numerous initiatives across Lisbon redistributing surplus food. These are currently serving around 20 different low-income neighborhoods around the city and heavily depend on volunteers to deliver food on such a large scale.

Volunteers help on the in-demand night shift from 4PM to 8PM or 6PM to 10PM and duties can vary, but generally include:

  • Picking up food from local restaurants, cafes, hospitals and supermarkets
  • Packing and packaging meal boxes
  • Assisting with storing and organizing food donations
  • Cleaning and arranging containers and workspaces
  • Handing out meal boxes to families, elderly, and the homeless community
Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #2: Zero Hunger

Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #2: Zero Hunger

Current estimates show that 8.9% of the population are hungry, with the global pandemic threatening to double that number. Swift action needs to be taken to provide food and humanitarian relief, whilst agriculture and food production must become more sustainable.

Why do Food Rescue volunteering in Lisbon with IVHQ?

As a Food Rescue volunteer in Portugal you’ll be adding value to the local community, while also developing personally and professionally by:

  • Improving food security for vulnerable people
  • Helping reduce food waste
  • Developing your communication skills
  • Gaining food outreach experience
  • Immersing yourself in Portuguese culture
  • Exploring Lisbon, Portugal’s relaxed capital

Volunteer requirements

  • Volunteers under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to participate in this program
  • Volunteers aged 16-18 are required to provide IVHQ with parental consent in order to participate on the program, and may be asked to provide additional documentation to the local team
  • All volunteers aged 13+ are required to provide a criminal background check to IVHQ prior to departure. Those aged 13-17, 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.
Are you eligible to volunteer?

Submit a free application so we can confirm your eligibility and check availability for your preferred dates.

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What recent volunteers said about their IVHQ experience

GA
Gustavo Acosta
26 Dec 2023

I feel like I gained a lot of experience because I was able to meet so many people from all over the world and converse with people of all ages. It was a great experience, definitely something I would do again! For anyone hesitant, my advice would be to just do it. Throw yourself out into the world and explore all kinds of cultures and traditions of other countries. This trip was definitely the highlight of the year!

...
KR
Kristin Redmond
26 Sep 2023

It felt good to help people and make an impact. I would recommend IVHQ, it is very well run and the entire staff were accommodating.

...
CK
Cinthy Kagawa
14 Sep 2023

This experience of traveling to a foreign country and volunteering was much much more enriching than simply being a tourist.

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IG
Isabel Galinov
11 Aug 2023

I would say that coming out of my comfort zone really helped me as a person and made me feel more proud of myself. I made so many amazing friends as well.

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MA
Majd Alabras
20 Jul 2023

During my volunteering trip in Lisbon, I gained so much more than I had anticipated. It was an incredibly enriching experience that left a lasting impact on me. Not only did I have the opportunity to contribute to a meaningful cause, but I also learned valuable lessons about teamwork, cultural exchange, and the power of collective effort.

...
HM
Hanna MacDonald
08 Feb 2023

I think that IVHQ does a wonderful job at getting things organized and settled, and the support from the local team was phenomenal! The accommodation was great! Better than i thought it would be. I think my favourite moment was orientation where we got to meet each other and have a tour of the city in a Tuk Tuk. Very good ice breaker! The way people live and the way their culture is had the greatest impact on me. It is so relaxing and refreshing and also very eye opening. I would tell people who are hesitant about volunteering abroad that they would be missing out if they decided not to go.

...

To read all reviews, visit our reviews page.

Academic course credit through International Volunteer HQ and Intern Abroad HQ.

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Volunteer Abroad in Portugal with IVHQ

Location

The IVHQ Portugal Program is located in and around Lisbon - the capital and largest city in Portugal. It’s a veritable treasure trove of history, culture, breathtaking scenery, exciting nightlife, gorgeous beaches and great places to eat and drink.

Portugal and Lisbon have risen from poverty only this century, so while it is a fantastic and affordable destination to visit, local communities are still facing the lingering effects of previously being one of the poorest countries in Western Europe. Volunteers can have an impact on these communities by supporting local initiatives which aim to improve the lives of Lisbon’s residents and make sure they have access to all of life’s basic necessities.

Arrival and orientation

The program orientation begins every Monday, and volunteers need to arrive in Lisbon the day before their orientation.

After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive at Lisbon Airport (LIS). Your airport pick-up is included in your Program Fee, however, if you arrive outside of Sunday between 9:00AM - 10:00PM, your pick-up will incur an extra cost of US$65. Volunteers under the age of 18 are required to travel with written consent from both parents or guardians in order to enter Portugal. Volunteers under the age of 18 who require a pre-arranged visa will also need their visa application to be signed by a parent or guardian.

When you arrive, you will be greeted at the airport by a member of the local team and transported to the volunteer accommodation in either Lisbon. Your accommodation is covered by your Program Fee and includes the night before your program orientation.

If you are traveling in Portugal prior to your volunteer program, we can arrange for you to be picked up from a prearranged location in Lisbon on the day before your program orientation.

Orientation is hosted by our Portugal team at the accommodation. It begins the morning of your chosen start date and lasts for a full day. The orientation covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in Portugal – an introduction to Portugal, culture and customs, rules and expectations, safety, travel opportunities, an introduction to project and placement as well as a tour of the local area. The orientation will also give you a chance to sign up for Portuguese language lessons if you’re on a Lisbon based project, and to meet other volunteers with whom you can swap contact details for weekend travel and socializing.

Volunteer schedule example

Weekdays

You will have a morning, afternoon or evening shift at your placement and will work for approximately 3 to 6 hours per day. Please note that start times and daily workloads depend on the project that you are participating on.

8:00 - 10:00 AM Breakfast is available at the volunteer accommodation
8:30 AM Travel to placement to join local placement staff and begin work on your project.
1:00 - 3:00 PM Lunch is served at the accommodation or at your placement. After lunch, you will continue your volunteer work.
2:30 PM Volunteers with afternoon or evening shifts travel to placement and begin work on their project.
7:00 - 9:00 PM Dinner at the volunteer accommodation. After dinner you will have the remainder of the evening free to relax and use as you wish.

Weekends

Volunteers have the weekends free and Portugal and Lisbon are full of interesting things to do, see, visit, eat and learn.

Explore the old city of Lisbon and get yourself lost in the small alleys that are seeped with music and delicious food. Be sure to try the local pastry - pastel de nata and listen to traditional folklore music - fado. Lisbon is a vibrant city with many cultural and music events, you can’t possibly be bored here. If it’s nature you’re looking for - it has that too! Sintra Natural Park is only a short drive away and boasts wonderful castles and palaces. Come for a day trip to Arrabida beach and try the well-known local wines.

Volunteers can make travel arrangements further afield once in Lisbon, with the advice and guidance of our local staff.

Accommodation and WiFi

Volunteers on Lisbon based projects will be accommodated in a dormitory-style hostel with other volunteers in Estoril which is a 5 minute walk from the beach. You can expect to share a room with between 3 - 13 other volunteers of the same gender however, male volunteers may share mixed-gender rooms with other guests if the male dormitory room reaches capacity.

Bedding and towels are provided, and there are shared western bathrooms however, they are not separated by gender. Staff will clean the accommodation throughout the week, however volunteers are required to keep their rooms tidy. Please note that there is a 10:00 PM curfew in place at the hostel for volunteers under the age of 18.

WiFi is available at the volunteer accommodation, as well as many cafes and restaurants in the area. To keep connected, the local team will provide you with a free local SIM card that you can activate to purchase mobile data for an unlocked mobile phone.

Private double rooms in the hostel, with the use of the communal bathrooms, are available at an additional cost of $384 (approximately $384). These can be purchased as an add-on via your MyIVHQ account once you have registered for the Portugal program. All accommodation upgrades are subject to availability.

Volunteers travel to their placements from the volunteer accommodation via public transport or by foot.

Meals

Portuguese food is delicious and during your time in Portugal, you will be sure to receive some incredible treats.

Most volunteers are provided with three meals a day. Breakfast is self-serve at the accommodation and generally includes tea, coffee, bread, cheese, ham, spreads, cereal, yoghurt and fruit. Lunch and dinner usually include local staples such as fish and chicken, as well as rice, pasta, vegetables, and salad. If your placement requires you to be away from the accommodation during lunch or dinner, these will be provided at your placement or you will take a packed meal.

Tap water is fine to drink in Portugal, however bottled water is readily available if you prefer and you should budget $10 (approximately $10) a week for this.

Pricing

  • USD
Duration
Program Fee
Due 30 days before you start, or within 48 hours if you register inside of 30 days. Covers the cost of hosting you.
  • USD
1 week $705 Equivalent to $101/day
2 weeks $1,065 Equivalent to $76/day
3 weeks $1,425 Equivalent to $68/day
4 weeks $1,785 Equivalent to $64/day
5 weeks $2,155 Equivalent to $62/day
6 weeks $2,525 Equivalent to $60/day
8 weeks $3,265 Equivalent to $58/day
10 weeks $4,005 Equivalent to $57/day
12 weeks $4,745 Equivalent to $56/day
  • Accommodation
  • Meals
  • 24/7 in-country support
  • In-country program orientation
  • Pre-departure support from your Program Manager
  • Airport pick-up
  • Personalized preparation tools, guides and check lists
  • Access to IVHQ’s preferred insurance and flights partners
  • Discounts on language lessons
  • Certificate of International Volunteer Service

Learn more about what's included in your IVHQ Registration Fee and Program Fee.

  • All programs attract a Registration Fee of US$329 (approximately $329) in addition to the Program Fee. This covers all pre-departure support services.
  • 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, public transport to and from your placement each day and return to the airport when your program finishes.
  • Recommended spending money: Volunteers on Lisbon based projects and on the Wildlife Conservation project generally find US$65 to be sufficient for basic weekly expenses. For those on the Wolf Conservation project, we recommend a weekly budget of US$150.
  • Any changes or cancellations within 14 days of your start date are subject to a US$200 late change/cancellation fee.

Free-time experiences & tours in Portugal

Take your volunteer experience to the next level with IVHQ's affordable activity and tour add-ons in Portugal! Explore your options below and learn how to book them once you've been accepted onto the IVHQ Portugal program.

Language Lessons
Language Lessons

Enhance your Portuguese language proficiency at the most affordable rate while volunteering in Portugal.

From $315
Language Lessons
Language Lessons

Enhance your Portuguese language proficiency at the most affordable rate while volunteering in Portugal.

From $315

Portuguese language lessons

Portuguese language lessons are available to all Lisbon-based volunteers, regardless of your Portuguese language ability. Volunteers are strongly encouraged to take advantage of these lessons to allow you to work and communicate more effectively during your program.

If you would like to sign up for the language lessons, simply let your Program Manager know and they will be happy to help you arrange them. The language lessons are tailored to each volunteer’s current level of Portuguese and are taught by a professional Portuguese language teacher. Classes run Monday through Friday, the cost is very affordable and offered exclusively to IVHQ volunteers. They are paid for prior to your arrival and the local team will help you arrange a suitable time to complete your lessons during your program orientation.

10 Hours: $315 (approximately $315)
20 Hours: $630 (approximately $630)
30 Hours: $943 (approximately $943)
40 Hours: $1258 (approximately $1258)
50 Hours: $1571 (approximately $1571)

Please note, Portuguese lessons are held at the Lisbon accommodation and are not available to volunteers on the Wolf Conservation project.

Check what's required to visit Portugal

Safety and support with IVHQ

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.
Learn more about IVHQ's safety

Essential country information

Capital Lisbon
Population 10.46 million
Languages Portuguese
Currency Euro (EUR)
Time zone UTC+00:00

Weather and climate: Lisbon has a Mediterranean climate with dry hot summers and mild winters. During winter, from December to February, temperatures are mild and vary from 8°C to 14°C (46°F to 57°F). Summer, from June to September, is dry and hot with temperatures ranging between 18°C and 29°C (64°F and 84°F). Rainfall is heaviest in December/January and driest in July/August.

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How to get started

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