Food Support for the Homeless in Lisbon, Portugal

WHY we need you in Portugal


HOW can you help?

WHAT you can do?

Why Involvement Volunteers International?




  START DATES: WEEKLY (SAT/SUN ARRIVALS), All programs closed from 16th Dec– 5th Jan



  MIN AGE: 16+

  SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS: Criminal background check required, Schengen Visa Required


In big cities like Lisbon, there’s been an increase in homelessness and families struggling to make ends meet. But together, we can make a difference! This project aims to tackle food waste and help feed those in need. It’s a win-win situation: good food doesn’t go to waste, hungry people get a meal, and everyone can pitch in to make a positive impact on our community

Your role in this project is vital. You’ll be collecting surplus food from restaurants, preparing meals, and delivering them to families in Lisbon. Along the way, you’ll help keep things organized and clean to ensure everything runs smoothly.

During your time with us, you’ll work at least four hours a day, with flexibility in shifts. Safety and hygiene are paramount, so always wear hairnets or caps, wash your hands thoroughly, and follow any schedule changes advised by our coordinator. Most importantly, show respect to everyone you encounter and actively participate in our activities.

Tasks include:

  • Help and assist in food basket preparations.
  • Prepare Food Ingredients.
  • Organize and store the food donated.
  • Serve meals to local people.
  • Maintaining cooking equipment and storage clean.
  • Maintaining kitchen areas clean and sanitised.

Remember, alcohol is not allowed during your time here, and always bring water to stay hydrated. Let’s make the most of this experience and create lasting memories while making a difference in the lives of others.


Cascais, located along Portugal’s coastline, enjoys sandy beaches, clear waters, and the rugged cliffs offer a haven for beach enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. The town’s vibrant atmosphere is characterised by its charming streets adorned with colourful buildings, bustling cafes, and unique shops, creating a delightful ambiance for visitors to immerse themselves in. For those intrigued by history, Cascais boasts notable landmarks such as the impressive Cascais Citadel and the esteemed Condes de Castro Guimarães Museum, providing a glimpse into its storied past.

Project Tasks

  •  Assist the local staff with extra hands at the food shop;
  • Lisbon families in need can continue to be provided with hygienic, healthy food
  • Good and Healthy food is not wasted 

Food & Accommodation

You will be accommodated in our volunteer house which is located in Cascais, close to Lisbon. Rooms are shared dorms on a single gender basis, with 4-10 people per room. Accommodation includes wifi, air-con, laundry at an extra fee, bed linin, and hot showers. You can find anything you require such as ATMs, supermarkets, pharmacies, etc. close to the accommodation at a walking distance.

We provide 3 meals a day on weekdays and just breakfast on weekends. The meals are traditional meals served unique to the area. You can also eat out at any of the local restaurants.

All prices in USD
  • 1 Week - $1095
  • 2 Weeks - $1990
  • 3 Weeks - $2985
  • 1 Month - $3980
  • 2 Months - $7960
  • 3 Months - $11,940
Vol House
What's Included
  • Accommodation
  • Meals
  • Airport Pickup
  • Local Transportation
  • 1 Day Orientation
  • 24/7 In-Country Support
  • Project Materials & Equipment
  • Pre-departure Expert Advice
  • Preperation Tools & Checklists
  • Certificate of Completion


If you have a caring and patient nature and don’t mind a bit of hard work, then this projects for you! This is a rewarding project where you can really get to know the local people and make a real difference. 

  • Accommodation
  • 3 meals p/day weekdays / only breakfast on weekends
  • Arrival airport transfer (Sat/Sun arrivals)
  • Filtered drinking water, coffee & tea
  • 1 day orientation
  • Daily transportation to project
  • In country 24/7 support & emergency assistance
  • Fundraising support
  • University course credits (where applicable)
  • Certificate of Completion
  • Airfares
  • Travel Insurance
  • Tours, Souvenirs & spending money

On the Monday at the start of your program, you will recive an orientation to the local area.

  • Welcome to Portugal! Arrival orientation and introduction to Portuguese traditions and culture, house rules, and code of conduct
  • Basic Portuguese Lesson
  • Walking tour around local interest spots
  •  Dinner 

Programs begin every Monday, and volunteers are required to arrive the day prior, for orientation before the project. Your accommodation on the Sunday is included in the program fees.

A free airport pickup is included when arriving to Lisbon International Airport (LIS). You must arrive between the hours 06:30 – 24:00 on Sunday. 

If arriving outside the pickup times, we charge an additional fee for any extra night’s accommodation and for a private transfer.

Alternatively, if arriving early you could wait at the arrival’s terminal for the pickup time, book accommodation at the airport and meet us during the pickup times or make your own way to the project (we will advise on how to do this).


Welcome to Portugal! Arrival orientation and introduction to Portuguese traditions and culture, house rules, and code of conduct

Basic Portuguese Lesson

Walking tour around local interest spots


Tuesday to Friday


Depart for the placement

Assist in the preparation of food baskets, working in the kitchen, cleaning the area, and serving food.


Assist in the preparation of food baskets, working in the kitchen, cleaning the area, and serving food.

Possibility to collect or distribute food.


***This schedule can be changed and/or amended depending on weather conditions, local conditions and unforeseen circumstances.*** 

Places to see in Portugal:

Explore the historic neighbourhoods of Lisbon, such as Alfama and Bairro Alto, and visit iconic landmarks like São Jorge Castle and Belém Tower.

Discover the enchanting beauty of Sintra, a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its fairytale palaces and lush gardens.

Wander through the picturesque vineyards of the Douro Valley and enjoy wine tastings at local wineries.

Relax on the golden beaches of the Algarve, known for their stunning cliffs and crystal-clear waters.

Embark on a culinary journey through Portugal, sampling traditional dishes like bacalhau, pastéis de nata, and grilled sardines.

In or Near Cascais:

Visit the Cascais Citadel, a historic fortress overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, and explore its maritime museum.

Take a leisurely stroll along the Cascais Promenade, lined with palm trees and offering breathtaking views of the coastline.

Spend a day at Guincho Beach, known for its strong winds and excellent conditions for windsurfing and kitesurfing.

Explore the charming village of Sintra, just a short drive from Cascais, and marvel at its palaces, gardens, and winding streets.

Play a round of golf at one of Cascais’ world-class golf courses, such as Oitavos Dunes or Quinta da Marinha.

Discover the Boca do Inferno, a dramatic cliff formation where the waves crash against the rocks, creating a spectacular natural phenomenon.

Take a day trip to Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point of mainland Europe, and enjoy stunning views of the rugged coastline.  

Type of visa required
The Schengen Visa is an authorization issued by a Member State for airport transit or short stays in the territory of one or more Member States, allowing the holder to present himself at the external border.
A short-stay visa does not automatically confer the right to enter the Schengen area, it only entitles its holder to present himself at a border post and apply for entry into the country [Article 30 of the Visa Code, article 5 of the Convention for the Application of the Schengen Agreement and article 6 of the Borders Code].
At the border, you may be required to present documentation related to the conditions of stay, for example, relating to the availability of sufficient means of subsistence to cover your stay and return trip, accommodation conditions and valid travel medical insurance.
The Schengen visa is intended for short stays of up to 90 days in each 180 days and can be granted for the purposes of tourism, family visit, business, seasonal work, transit, among others.
You will also need: 
  • Genuine interest and passion in food preparations and desire to reduce hunger.
  • A decent level of fitness and attention is required.
  • Older participants over 65 years are required to have a medical clearance as proof of their physical fitness as they may perform various activities.
  • Participants below 18 years old need a signed parental consent as proof of involvement of their children in the program. If possible, accompaniment by an adult is highly advised.
  • High level of efficiency, accuracy, and responsibility can work under pressure and is a team player.
  • Excellent time management and self-organizing and a strong desire to take on new challenges and learn as much as possible.
  • Recommended to at least have a COVID-19 Vaccination. You are advised to purchase travel and medical insurance prior to your arrival.

For information on holidays and any programs affected, please see the following link: PT – Holidays – All Programs

Portugal, situated on the western edge of Europe, boasts a rich tapestry of history, culture, and natural beauty. From its ancient cities steeped in maritime heritage to its golden beaches along the Atlantic coastline, Portugal offers a diverse range of attractions for visitors to explore. The country’s warm Mediterranean climate, renowned cuisine, and friendly locals create an inviting atmosphere for travelers seeking to immerse themselves in the Portuguese way of life. With its centuries-old monuments, charming villages, and vibrant festivals, Portugal captivates the imagination and leaves a lasting impression on all who have the pleasure of experiencing its wonders.

Furthermore, Portugal has emerged as a modern and progressive nation, known for its commitment to sustainability, innovation, and social progress. In recent years, Portugal has made significant strides in areas such as renewable energy, environmental conservation, and social welfare, earning accolades and recognition on the global stage. As a member of the European Union, Portugal actively participates in international cooperation efforts, fostering partnerships and initiatives to address shared challenges and promote peace and prosperity. With its blend of tradition and modernity, Portugal stands as a beacon of resilience and optimism, inviting visitors to discover the boundless possibilities that await in this captivating country.  

Portugal enjoys a diverse climate that varies across its regions due to its geographical location and proximity to the Atlantic Ocean. Along the coastline, particularly in the southern and western regions, Portugal experiences a Mediterranean climate characterised by hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters. The summer months typically span from June to September, with temperatures often reaching highs in the mid to upper 20s Celsius (70s to 80s Fahrenheit). Winters, on the other hand, generally occur from December to February, with temperatures cooling down and occasional rainfall.

Inland areas, such as the interior regions and mountainous areas, have a more continental climate with hotter summers and colder winters. The northern regions tend to be cooler and wetter throughout the year, experiencing more rainfall than the southern areas. Overall, Portugal’s climate is generally temperate, offering pleasant weather for much of the year and making it a popular destination for tourists seeking sunshine, outdoor activities, and relaxation along its beautiful beaches.  

Portugal’s culture is a vibrant mosaic of traditions, history, and creativity. From the haunting melodies of fado to the mouthwatering flavours of traditional cuisine, every aspect reflects the nation’s rich heritage. Festivals and celebrations dot the calendar, filling the streets with music, dance, and joyous revelry. Visitors are welcomed with open arms, invited to immerse themselves in a culture that is both timeless and ever-evolving.

At the heart of Portuguese culture lies a deep sense of community and hospitality. Whether exploring historic landmarks, dining at local taverns, or simply strolling through charming villages, visitors are greeted with warmth and genuine hospitality at every turn. The Portuguese people take pride in sharing their traditions and customs, inviting travellers to experience the unique charm and beauty of their homeland. 

35+ Years Non Profit Experience

IVI is an Australian charity & non profit organisation founded in 1989 and is one of the pioneers of overseas volunteering successfully placing over 20,000 volunteers globally.

Affordable Volunteer Travel

We’re not motivated by shareholder profits.   Our fees are fully transparent to ensure maximum benefit where it is most needed. 

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All projects include a dedicated 24/7 in-country management team, operational & risk assessment & overseas support contact.   All projects are personally inspected to ensure very high quality.

Work Experience & University Credits

We place thousands of Uni students and can assist you with course credits and in-field experience points.   Many of our project coordinators are qualified practitioners in their respective fields allowing unique in-field supervision and Uni accreditation options

Check out this amazing blog with step by step info on how to raise funds for your overseas volunteer experience to help maximize your impact abroad. Guide to Fundraising

Weekends & Extra Tours

Ready to Volunteer in Portugal?