A group of teenagers from the Nederlands Onderwijs Algarve Portugal (NOAP) school in Silves started a campaign to collect food donations and collect paper food packaging bags for the soup kitchen in Portimão.
Through a flyer and fundraising, students have so far collected no less than 10,000 brown paper bags, which will replace traditional plastic packaging for take-out food over the next few months, helping package and distribute food faster and easier. in addition to being recyclable and reducing plastic waste. They also collected much-needed food items like 77 long-life milk packs, 40 boxes of cereal and a box full of clothes.
The Portimão Soup Kitchen currently serves approximately 200 meals, three times a week, to homeless and disadvantaged citizens of all ages and backgrounds in Portimão. Where possible, he also provides them with other items such as warm clothes, shoes and blankets.
The students’ involvement with the Soup Kitchen in Portimão was manifested through their weekly group activities on social issues under the guidance of NOAP school mentor, Glen Theelen.
When discussing homelessness, Glen found that the group, whose ages range from 13 to 18, were enthusiastically interested in the complex social issue and eager to learn more about it.
Having worked in psychiatry and homeless shelters for many years in his native Holland, homelessness is also an issue close to Glen’s heart and he wanted to volunteer in the field when he moved to Portugal. 18 months ago.
He was introduced to Portimão Soup Kitchen by long-time Dutch resident Marga Otten, founder of Hello Bello Dog Care in Lagoa, who has volunteered at Portimão Soup Kitchen for several years.
With the support and participation of students and their parents, a volunteer expedition was organized to Portimão Soup Kitchen as part of the group’s extracurricular activities.
In addition to their personal efforts, the school group’s successful donation campaign has been sponsored by the Mercado Eco store in Silves, but longer-term partners such as supermarkets are sought to help the soup kitchen on a regular basis.
“We are very proud of our students for starting this initiative and hope we can make a difference for a worthwhile and important cause,” concludes Glen.
For more information, see: https://noap.info/ or Facebook: Portimão Tuesdays, Thursday & Sunday Soup Kitchen.