The purpose of this study- entitled “Hunger on solidarity with bitter aftertaste?” – is to discuss the subject of volunteering (honorary engagement) and its meaning for social work profession. It discusses the relationship between social work and voluntary work, which may be problematic, and then it is linked to the welfare state and its current restructuring. This serves as an introduction to current debates, which deal with voluntary social work. This debate will focus on the processes of economization and professionalization of social work and demonstrates their mutual influence on the voluntary work on the basis of scientific literature. Then, the previous debate will be pointed out on the basis of the practical example of the „Tafel” (tabel), which are a symbol of social engagement. Their attempt to alleviate poverty is critically analyzed and likewise its contribution to the necessary care is highlighted, in order to stress the ambivalent situation. After that it seeks for possible positions of the social work on the subject of „Tafeln“ and volunteer work, while it refers not only to the definition of social work by the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) but also on the third mandate, according to Silvia Staub-Bernasconi. The aim of this work is to capture the complexity and controversies of this topic and to provide a basis for further discussions.