About our Soup Van Program
Established in 1980, the Matthew Talbot Soup Van - Footscray provides meals seven nights a week to people experiencing disadvantage & homelessness in the Footscray, Maidstone, Newport and Williamstown areas.
The Soup Van Program is a Special Work of the State Council of the St Vincent de Paul Society. Starting up over 40 years ago in response to the need of food security and friendship in the inner City of Melbourne, the Soup Van Program continues to serve people who are experiencing homelessness and disadvantage. From the humble beginnings of one basic Soup Van Operation in Fitzroy, there are now seven Soup Van Operations across Victoria who serve over 1000 people on any given night.
The primary aim of the SVDP Soup Van Program is to offer food, compassion, genuine concern and a connection with the outside world to people experiencing homelessness, or at risk of homelessness and disadvantage. Through the acceptance of each individual and their lifestyle, it is hoped that feelings of dignity, self-esteem, worth and value as a person are inspired. The Soup Van Program operates within the Mission, Vision and inspired Values of the St Vincent de Paul Society. The Soup Van Program is supported by over 1300 dedicated volunteers grouped into teams and headed by a Soup Van President for each Soup Van Operation. Over 250,000 meals are served annually by the volunteers, with the Soup Vans operating 365 days a year, rain, hail or shine! The Soup Van Volunteers (or Vannies as they are affectionately known), journey the streets, parks, boarding/rooming houses, public and community housing estates delivering soup, sandwiches, fruit and other food and drinks.
Volunteering with the Soup Van Program is a great way to get involved with the community and create new friendships. We are fortunate to have so many wonderful people volunteer their time and skills to help us give hope and a hand up to over 300,000 Victorians each year.
Our volunteers help people to take control of their destiny and contribute to a more supportive, connected and inclusive community. We do this by respecting their dignity, sharing our hope and encouraging them to take control of their destiny.
Have you been described as someone who has:
In return we offer an opportunity to:
What our Volunteers are saying:
“I have been very fortunate in my life, in my upbringing, professionally and financially. Being a volunteer with the St Vincent de Paul Society is my small contribution and gratitude to society. I enjoy the interaction with our clientele, the camaraderie and vibrance of my fellow volunteers and I am very appreciative of their efforts they contribute. Sunday nights on the food van is a very big part of my life now, I wouldn't know what to do if I wasn't on the van.” – Paul
Are you ready to contribute positively to your local community?
If making a difference is important to you and you’re ready to contribute positively to your local community we can’t wait to hear from you!
Our Soup Van Program is a wonderful volunteering opportunity and therefore positions are limited. We shall be in contact with you as a vacancy arises.
PLEASE NOTE: Unfortunately, volunteering with the Soup Van Program is not an approved activity for Centrelink.
For a copy of the Position Description please click here
Open to exploring volunteering or employment opportunities?
Take a look at our many employment and volunteering opportunities here
Please note that prior to formally engaging in any Volunteer activity with the St Vincent de Paul Society some checks are required. These will include a National Criminal History Check and current Working with Children Check. It may also include reference checking and a medical (applicable to Driver and Jockey roles only).
St Vincent de Paul Society Victoria is proactive in supporting child safety.