Volunteer initiatives of education and training of volunteer food handlers in soup kitchens from Vocational Training Center Rethymno Regional Unit - Region of Crete

Volunteer initiatives of education and training of volunteer food handlers in soup kitchens from Vocational Training Center Rethymno Regional Unit - Region of Crete


The Region of Crete is a Local Self-Administration Organization of second level and  consists of 4 Regional Units : Heraklion , Lasithi , Rethymno and Chania. ROC  designs and implements policies on economic, social, tourist and cultural development of the island .

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Objective Action

The aim of the action is the free provision of knowledge and skills development to volunteers on good hygiene practices issues in food handling  in order to protect the health of citizens, refugees and other vulnerable groups, who face difficulties on livelihood. More specific, the training is referring to education and training volunteer staff - food handlers involving in activities relating to the storage and / or distribution of food rations and / or social groceries and / or philanthropic institutions and / or activities related to the storage and / and distribution of food in emergency situations. These educational activities are approved and supervised by the Hellenic Food Authority (EFET), which is under the supervision of the Ministry of Agriculture. Participants after successful completion of the programs, are received Certification by EFET.


Target Audience

In volunteer staff-food handlers and employees involved in activities relating to the storage and/ or distribution of food to soup kitchens or social groceries or social and charitable institutions and / or activities related to the storage and/ or distribution of food in emergency situations.



1/1/2014 until today.


The Vocational Training Center of Rethymno Regional Unit - Region Crete is the only public center of Crete Region, certified by the National Qualification Certification Agency and Vocational Guidance (EOPPEP), which is supervised by the Minister of Education and Religious Affairs. Provide continuing education and training services under the actions of Lifelong Learning. The starting idea was developed in 2013 in response of recognizable need for training of personnel involved in the production and disposal of catering to vulnerable groups of the population such as immigrants, our fellow citizens strongly feeling the effects of the crisis, poor, children from single parent families, unemployed, homeless, etc. In collaboration with social organizations of Crete and the Hellenic Food Authority was decided to organize volunteer training programs for volunteer food handlers in soup kitchens for paupers and socially groceries. The aim of training was to ensure hygiene and food safety high level, contributing to assurance  of citizens-feeding health, especially those who have included in high-risk groups (children, elderly, etc.). Incidents which have recorded during  inspections by competent control authorities in Greek regions, demonstrated and highlighted the problem of non-compliance according with health and safety food standards in soup kitchens and social groceries and present the important role of education in the protection of our citizens putting this educational need on top priority (

This initiative has begun from K.E.KA.P.E.R.-REGION OF CRETE, staff strains of which have been come in contact with social organizations initially at Rethymno and then at the Region of Crete and the Archibishopric of Crete and the "FILOXENIA" - non-profit organization, non-governmental organization (NGO). The result of these meetings was the recognition and awareness of stakeholders to proceed to the creation of lists with volunteers and workers who could have been consisted target group for volunteer programs. K.E.KA.P.E.R., organized totally the project, providing certified trainer from the Registry of Volunteer Educators of EFET, the required educational material and classrooms for programs that held in Rethymno. For programs which held in the mainland of Crete (Zoniana Anogia) trainings were conducts in places that indicated by the social actors. The program included: Maintenance of heating-cooling chain, personal hygiene, cleaning and disinfection of premises, waste management, vermin & deworming, markets / receipt of materials / storage, product handling, processing products / cooking, keeping for sale, landscaping and maintenance of equipment and withdrawal-withdrawal procedures of contaminated food, in cooperation with the EFET.

These actions have received the appropriate publicity in numerous websites and social media. Indicative links:,,, etc.

The aim of K.E.KA.P.E.R.-REGION OF CRETE is the continuous effort of knowledge diffusion to all those involved in voluntary education and training volunteer food handlers in soup kitchens and social groceries ensuring hygiene and safety. 


Impact on Society

The results of action are referred on acquisition of knowledge in order participants to aquire  skills, abilities and reforming of attitudes on hygiene and safety of food. The observance of hygiene rules at all stages of production and disposal of food should be permanently, ensuring the hygiene of voulnerable social groups who are recipients of this important assistance. At the end of the training program, participants participate in a written examination to obtain the certification from the Hellenic Hellenic Food Authority. To date the programs have attended 81volunteers and employees from 20 different social private and public entities.

Initiative Location

Region of Crete.

Working with Organization

Laboratory of Special Vocational Education and Training (EEEEK), Society of Parents-legal Guardians and Friends of Children & Adults with Disabilities "LOVE", Society of Parents-legal Guardians and Friends of individuals with Autism, Christian niche "Four Saint Witnesses"of Rethymnon, Children's Refectory "Lady of Angels" of Rethymnon, Social Protection Department of Anogia, Youth and Lifelong Learning Foundation, Health Center of Anogia, School Committee of Anogia's Elementary Education, Anogia Centre for Environmental Education (ACEE), Elderly Daily Care Center of Anogia,  Municipalities of Rethymno Regional Unit (Amari, Rethymnon Agios Vasileios), General Hospital of Rethymnon, Health and Welfare Directorate of Rethymno regional Unit, General Benevolent Fund of Rethymno Bishopric, Saint Konstantinos Church of Rethymno, Saint George Church of Zoniana, Cultural Society of Zoniana, Hellenic Food Authority (EFET), Anogia (Homecare), Social service of Anogia, Archibishopric of Crete.


Workers Participation

Social bodies, social groceries and other entities due to financial crisis provide meals and distributing food on a daily basis have employed a significant number of volunteers and workers. Workers are specialized in specialties such as cooks, warehousemen, distributors, cleaning staff etc.

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