In the Community

Give 30

It’s springtime, and you know what that means. Birds are singing, flowers are blooming, and hunger and food insecurity are issues that are still being faced every single day in our community. While most people tend to donate or think about food banks in the colder months, the mission of our organization is year-round. That’s why this year we’re working with the Waterloo Food Bank to support Give 30.

What is Give 30?

Founded in 2012 in Mississauga, Give 30 is a community-based initiative built upon the ideas and tenets of the Muslim month of fasting, Ramadan. During this 30 day period, Muslims are not to consume any food or drink (even water!) during daylight hours. This is designed to bring people closer to the Creator, and also to give perspective on the fundamental gifts food and drink are to us. Through this time of fasting, people are encouraged to be more compassionate to their fellow man who may not have food or drink not by choice, but by circumstance. 

So if Ramadan is about food, hunger, compassion, social solidarity and sharing, Give 30 embodies that spirit. This grassroots movement encourages people of ALL walks of life to think about those in our community who are struggling and lend a helping hand. That’s right, you don’t have to be Muslim in order to participate in Give 30.

So what can you do? 

1. Donate to Partner Organizations (Like the Cambridge Food Bank)
While you don’t have to fast to participate in Give 30, you can start by committing to give up one thing for 30 days, whether it be coffee, having lunch out, or something like that. Then, you donate the money that you would’ve spent on that one thing to the Give 30 campaign through a partner organization. Give 30 does not profit directly from this initiative, all of the money and donations are handled through partner food banks in your local community. 

2. Run a food drive in your office
Encourage co-workers and friends to donate canned goods, fresh foods and grocery gift cards in an effort to make a difference in your community for 30 days. Check out our recent blog about how to run a food drive for more information. 

3. Put aside part of your food budget
If you’re able to, put aside part of your food budget this month towards either a donation or food for your local food bank. Check out our tips for cutting down on your food budget for help thinking about ideas or recipes.

We hope that through this next month you’ll be able to contribute to the Give 30 campaign and make a difference in your community. For more information about the Give 30 organization check out their website at give30.ca. Give 30 runs from April 2 to May 2, 2022.

How to Run a Food Drive

Food drives are a great way to make a difference in ending hunger and giving back to your community. Anyone can run a food drive, at any time of year, and no amount is too small. Thank you for your interest in running a food drive for the Cambridge Food Bank! Whether you are an individual, group, business, or organization, this guide will help you run a successful food drive. If you have any questions we are always here to help! 

Step One: Organize!

Consider putting a group together who can help and support you! Neighbourhoods, schools, offices, teams, civic groups, and communities of worship are just some of the many organizations we work with to run food drives. This is a great opportunity to involve your community! Choose the location and duration of your food drive. Food drives can last a few days to a few weeks, so make sure you set a start and end date, or if this is a one-day event, a start and end time. Make sure that you will be able to store your collected food somewhere until you can deliver it or arrange for a pick-up. To donate fresh food, please organize drop-off right away, or plan to make multiple deliveries to make sure that food arrives fresh.

Step Two: Get Creative!

Think about what kind of food drive you want to hold! Is it a friendly competition between departments at your business? Is it collecting one specific item from our most needed list? Successful food drives often have a theme that makes them unique. Potential themes include filling backpacks with canned goods or school supplies for back to school, holiday themed drives like Halloween, Christmas or Easter, or even donation matching from your CEO or executive team. Another great way to raise donations is to host an event and instead of charging admission, ask attendees to bring canned goods or donations in lieu of admission. 

Monetary donations are also welcome and can be raised by asking your “crowd” to sponsor you in different ways.  Maybe you’re a runner, and you plan to run ten miles for hunger. Ask your “crowd” to sponsor you by the mile, and feed thousands of people with just one run. Or if you are less athletic, get people to sponsor you for a thirty hour fasting challenge. Challenges are only limited by your imagination!

Step Three: Marketing!

Make sure you tell everyone you know about your food drive! Make flyers and hand them out.  Create posters and social media messages to share with your friends! Send emails to your friends, family and colleagues letting them know what’s going on. Share content from the food bank or tag the food bank in your posts and we’ll help you get the word out. Create a gofundme, or fundraiser on social media to get funds to donate to the food bank. 

Step Four: Make Your Donation!

Drop off your donation to us at 54 Ainslie St. South, Cambridge or call us to arrange for a pick-up of larger donations: 519-622-6550, x 202. Lastly, send us your pictures! We love to post about our donors and community supporters. If you are on social media, be sure to tag us and use our hashtag #FeedingCommunity!

592,308 adults and children accessed a food bank in Ontario between April 1st, 2020, to March 31st, 2021 – an increase of 10 percent over the last year and the largest single-year increase since 2009. In the first 3 months of the pandemic, the number of people who accessed a food bank for the first time in Ontario increased by 26%. With the rising costs of food and housing, these numbers are projected to increase throughout 2022. Having a Food Drive will not solve the problems of food insecurity in our communities, but it is a start. For more information about how to help out, donate and more please send us an email at info@cambridgefoodbank.org

Grow-a-Row, Give-a-Row

Grow a Row, Give a Row!

Do you have a garden and love growing food? Do you love to share that food?
This growing season, why not be part of a global movement and share that love of growing food by dedicating a row in your garden to donate to the Cambridge Self Help Food Bank?


How does it work?
You have a garden plot. You are excited to grow food and happen to be growing food for yourself/your family and friends anyway. Plant an extra row or a few extra plants that you commit to giving away when they are ready! Easy as that!

What should I grow?
Anything you are excited about! Tomatoes, greens, root vegetables, cucumbers, melons… any fresh fruits and vegetables are welcome!

Should I clean the dirt off them first?
Yes, please!

Do I need to package them or do anything?
No! Please handle the produce how you would if you were going to eat it. No special packaging is required. We do not accept prepared or cooked foods from home kitchens. Please give them in their whole form!

When should I bring my produce?
Just like at a market stand, aiming to bring it as close to the harvest time as possible to maintain freshness is ideal.

Where do I bring the produce?
Bring it to the Cambridge Self Help Food Bank at 54 Ainslie Street any time during our open hours: Monday and Tuesday 12-4:30, Wednesday 9-4:30, Thursday 9-6:30 and Friday 9-4:30. We will weight it in and distribute it to participants, member agencies and programs. If you stick around, we can let you know how much it weighed too! If these times do not work, please contact Siobhan at 519-622-6550 X202 to arrange a pick-up!