Portugal – Food Rescue in Lisbon

Help fight food waste in Lisbon by participating in this program! Join local volunteer groups to share leftover food from grocery stores and eateries with the homeless, families in need, and other people who require help.


Program Highlights

  • Become part of a movement of passionate people dealing with the global challenge of reducing food waste.
  • Help distribute food to over 3000 people and families in need.
  • Experience Lisbon as a local and travel around Portugal during your time off.
  • Meet other like-minded volunteers from Lisbon and all over the world.
  • Live in a sustainable hostel at a beach town 30 minutes away from the city center of Lisbon.


First Week Itinerary:

Day 1, Sun: On the first day of the trip, the local team will pick you up from the airport and help you settle into the volunteer’s lodging.
Day 2, Mon: Welcome orientation and city tour.
Day 3-6, Tue-Fri: Meaningful volunteer work in evening shifts from 18 pm.
Day 7-8, Sat-Sun: Free weekend. Explore Portugal, take Portuguese lessons, or enroll in other activities we have programmed. Departure is on a Saturday.


Location icon Location of the Project: Lisbon

Project length Project length: Minimum 1 week – Maximum 8 weeks

Arrival Airport Arrival Airport: Aeroporto de Lisboa Humberto Delgado

Volunteer Work Volunteer Work: Collecting, packaging and distributing food

Age Age: Minimum 18 (teens aged 17 can join with parental consent).

Number of Volunteers Number of Volunteers: Maximum 10

Important Note Important Note: This program can welcome families with kids aged 13+


What’s Included

Accommodations Accommodations: Dormitory rooms, at a sustainable, and social hostel (Private rooms are also available for an upgrade).

Food Food: Three meals a day: breakfast, lunch, and dinner (Local style, Vegetarian, gluten-free, and meals for lactose-intolerant are also available upon request).

Airport Transfers Airport Transfers: Pickup at the airport (On the Saturday or Sunday prior to an Introduction Day). Alternate options include a taxi from the airport to the program site for around €30.

Orientation Orientation: Held the day after arrival with a responsible guided city tour (2 hours.) This includes free maps, city guides, and the best tips to discover the city!

Support Support: Comprehensive and professional pre-departure travel guidance, 24/7 GoEco emergency hotline, experienced local field team.


What’s not Included

Flights, visas (if required), travel health insurance, daily transportation from the hostel to the volunteer project (around 5 EUR per day), personal expenses.

Lisbon is a great destination for volunteer travelers who want to explore a lively European city with a deep history and culture. The city of Lisbon, Portugal’s capital, is a blend of old and new, where tradition and modernity share the same space. At the mouth of the Rio Tejo River, it is close to the shore of the Atlantic Ocean. Lisbon’s temperate climate throughout the year has made it one of the most popular places for people to visit in Europe. Apart from volunteering, travelers may discover the city’s many sights, like the vibrant streets of Alfama and Bairro Alto, the Belém Tower, and the Castelo de São Jorge. Not to mention great night life and local eateries.

The volunteer work takes place with our social partners in the neighbourhoods of Oeiras and Cascais. Depending on the placement, it can take around 15 to 40 minutes to get there from the volunteer hostel via public transportation.


Food waste is a major problem worldwide. People lose or waste one third of food produced, which is around 1.3 billion tonnes of food. As a volunteer in this program, you will help combat food waste and hunger in Lisbon, feeding thousands of people daily.

We work with a network of centers in Lisbon that collect food from restaurants, cafes, and supermarkets and distributes it to over 3000 individuals and families as meals, instead of disposing of it in the rubbish.

The shifts take place in these centers, alongside other local and international volunteers. You will be involved with a variety of tasks, such as:

  • Food preparation (cooking involved if needed)
  • Food collection with teams in restaurants, pastry shops, supermarkets, etc;
  • Packaging the food in smaller containers and pack, and store in refrigerators and freezers
  • Organizing the food containers for family/beneficiary and conducting quality control
  • Confirming the beneficiaries’ list and delivering food to the beneficiaries
  • Cleaning used containers
  • Organizing and saving any food left for the next day
  • Tidying up at the end of your shift!


Volunteers work up to 4 hours daily and shifts take place in the evening from 18 pm. The schedule depends on the organization and its needs at the moment. Volunteers have a minimum of 2 days off (weekends usually).


Internet icon Internet: Wi-Fi is included.

Laundry icon Laundry: Available for use, extra fee €5

Accommodations icon Accommodations: Volunteers will stay in a hostel committed to sustainable practices. The accommodation is in dorm-style rooms with shared bath-room facilities. Private and double rooms are available for an extra fee. The shared spaces include a roomy living area, a gorgeous garden and a vegetable plot, a large outdoor space, a swimming pool, a dining hall and an activities space – with a free yoga class every Friday!

Food icon Food: We provide three homemade meals each day. Special diet accommodations (e.g. vegetarian, vegan, etc.) are available.

  • Minimum 16 years old with parental consent
  • GoEco interview
  • Basic level of English
  • Criminal background check
  • No serious medical issues

Volunteers should get to know the nature and culture here, and we’ll give you tips and tricks to make you feel like a local in Lisbon! The shifts will last between 3 and 5 hours in the evenings. With this plan, you’ll have plenty of time to check out the sights, wander around, talk with the locals, and take it easy. Plus, you’ll have weekends off, too! The most popular options are Belém, Lisbon Downtown and Cascais beaches.

Volunteer Experiences

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