Wellness Hub

Cambridge Food Bank March Break 2024 Programs for Children & Youth

March Break Fun at the Cambridge Food Bank!

Get ready for an exciting March Break filled with free fun activities.

Here’s how you can join in on the excitement:

1. Daily Riddles and Recipes: Follow our Cambridge Food Bank Youth Instagram page @cambyouthfb daily and challenge yourself with our daily riddle and tasty recipe. The first riddle will be posted on March 11th.

2. Participate in the Week-Long Scavenger Hunt: Embark on an adventurous week-long scavenger hunt for a chance to win an exciting prize. Details will be posted on Facebook and Instagram on March 11th.

3. Register for Online or In-Person Activities: From educational workshops to entertaining games, every day there is something for everyone. Registration is now open. Click here to learn more

Have questions or would like to register? Contact Vanessa at 519-622-6550 ext 109 or vtoncic@cambridgefoodbank.org Have a fantastic and safe March Break and don’t forget to upload pictures of your March Break adventure and tag us @cambfoodbank

Conquering Chronic Pain: How a Self-Directed Course Transformed Beverly’s Life

Beverly Reidy shares with us a letter she wrote to Dr Cook after having attended a workshop with Chai, our Health Promoter here at the Cambridge Food Bank.

“Dear Dr. Cook,

 I am writing to tell you all that I have accomplished using the textbook Living a Healthy Life With Chronic Pain and the Toolkit for Active Living With Chronic Pain. I am very impressed with the course, especially since it is using a self-directed approach. The course isn’t just laid out for you to follow along in the textbook but it is directed through our weekly Zoom sessions. We do follow topics but we get in depth on topics that are discussed online and we focus on what is important to the group members. I enjoyed learning about tracking my pain and how to measure my pain but above all I felt it was important to develop the weekly action plan as it guided my routine and was based on my goals for the week. It not only taught you to set goals but to set SMART goals that were action oriented. Our leader Chai, who is very excellent at teaching the course, taught us to evaluate how confident we were that we could achieve our goals. If our confidence level was low then we needed to reset our goal or discuss what was holding us back.

We learned about healthy eating and the importance of weight management in controlling our pain. I found that reading the label of packaged foods was key to understanding a food and we learned how those percents on packages related to our daily intake.

We also learned about managing our symptoms through (Lefort, et al, 45):

·      Redirecting my attention to control pain

·      Challenging negative thoughts that support pain

·      Cultivating more positive emotions

·      Developing relaxation techniques

·      Slowly increasing activity and reconditioning yourself

·      Learning pacing techniques

I thought that I understood all of these things but I learned the importance of keeping a pain diary. I also understand that even if pain sensations cannot be changed then I can change my reaction and responses to pain. This will help me experience a lessened sensation of pain and less anxiety yet help me to lead a more active life.

One of the most important aspects of this course was the inclusion of the CDs. I use the body scan CD to relax my whole body and would like to incorporate this daily. I was also surprised that the exercise CD was doable for anyone in any condition. Both CDs connected to the text and were written in words to follow and the exercises were demonstrated in pictures. Both were very thorough and well presented. Throughout the weeks of the course we practiced each body scan and the exercises together!

I know that I always can learn more about pain management and have signed up for another course to build on what I have learned. I will also continue to incorporate what I have learned, start a pain diary, and work to manage my symptoms from what the knowledge that I have gained.

 I would recommend this course to all your patients suffering from chronic pain. I cannot put into words how much this course has meant to me. Not only from being tailored to my own specific needs, the excellent techniques but also for the social aspect and comradery experienced in this learning journey.

 Thank you Dr. Cook, for recommending this course to me!

Beverly Reidy” 

Lefort, Sandra M., et al. Living a Healthy Life With Chronic Pain. Bull Publishing Company: Boulder, Colorado. 2015.

 Your Tool Kit ForActive Living With Chronic Pain. Bull Publishing Company and the Self-Management Resource Center. 2020.

If you’d like to learn more about the free programs available from the Cambridge Food Bank, contact Chai at 519-572-9359 or email cmaybhate@cambridgefoodbank.org.

Grandparents/Kin Support – Why is our group important?


Navigating the complexities of raising grandchildren or supporting kin can be an incredibly challenging journey. For many grandparents and kin caregivers, finding a support system is not just helpful; it’s essential. In this blog post, we’ll explore the significance of a peer support group dedicated to grandparents and kin, why it matters, and the multitude of ways it benefits both older adults and the children they care for.

1. Building Relationships:

One of the most crucial aspects of this peer support group is the opportunity it provides for grandparents and kin caregivers to build relationships. The bond between grandparents and grandchildren is special, but it’s not always easy to maintain, especially in complex situations.  This group offers a platform for these families to connect, share experiences, and strengthen their relationships.

2. You Are Not Alone:

The feeling of isolation can be overwhelming for grandparents and kin caregivers. This group reassures them that they are not alone in their journey. Sharing stories, challenges, and triumphs with others who understand their unique circumstances can be incredibly comforting. Knowing that there’s a community of support can make all the difference.

3. Peer-to-Peer Support and Lived Experiences:

Grandparents and kin caregivers are able to tap into a vast pool of wisdom and experience within the group. Peer-to-peer support allows them to gain insights from others who have walked similar paths. Learning from lived experiences can be invaluable, offering practical advice and emotional support.

4. Support Topics Covered:

The group covers a wide range of topics to address the unique challenges faced by grandparents and kin caregivers, including:

  • Stress: Strategies for managing the stress that can come with caregiving.
  • Trauma: Coping with past traumas or helping children who have experienced trauma.
  • Fears: Addressing the fears and anxieties of both older adults and the children in their care.
  • Addictions: Dealing with addiction issues within the family.
  • Supports: Identifying and accessing available support systems.
  • Needs: Meeting the unique needs of both older adults and the children.
  • Mental Health: Caring for one’s mental health and that of the children.
  • Independence: Fostering independence in children while ensuring their safety and well-being.

7. Fun Activities:

It’s not all about addressing challenges and difficulties. The group also emphasizes the importance of fun and enjoyment. Some of the fun activities included in these programs are:

  • Special Guests: Inviting experts or motivational speakers to inspire and educate the group.
  • Two Outings: Organizing two outings to explore new places or simply have a change of scenery.
  • Monthly Fun Activities: Engaging in various activities, such as arts and crafts, games, etc. to promote bonding and relaxation.

The importance of a peer support group for grandparents and kin caregivers cannot be overstated. It offers a lifeline, a community of like-minded individuals who understand the unique challenges and joys of their situation. By addressing a wide range of topics, providing emotional support, and promoting fun and togetherness, this group is truly making a difference in the lives of those it serves.

Little Chefs, Big Helpers: How Children in the Kitchen Make a Difference

The kitchen is not only a place of culinary delights but also a hub of family connections and treasured memories. Involving children in the kitchen can be an enriching experience that benefits the entire family. Today, we share a heartwarming story from a family who shares the benefits gained by participating in our child and youth programs with Vanessa, our Youth Action Coordinator. 

“Vanessa knows many of these stories as I make it a point to tell her how amazing her programs are. My favourite story was when I told my daughter that dinner was going to be late and she should have a snack. I had thought she would just go into her shack cupboard and get an applesauce or granola bar but, instead, she made little pizzas for the whole family. She had learned this technique from Vanessa at one of her events wherein she used English muffins for pizza crusts. The mini pizzas hit the spot with everyone and relieved the stress on me to get dinner on the table a.s.a.p..

Vanessa has also been sharing some of the meals passed down through her eastern European family. My mother had a Hungarian grandmother, and Vanessa’s recipe for chicken and dumplings has now become a family favourite. It brought back many memories from my mother’s childhood and replaced a long-lost recipe to our family.”

As we celebrate the culinary adventures of our youth cooking programs, we see their presence brings joy, creativity, and a fresh perspective to the table. By involving children in meal preparation, we nurture their independence, revive family traditions, and foster healthy habits. 

Our programs continue to support our mission of building health and belonging through food.

Cooking & Connecting with Chai and the Cambridge Food Bank

We live in a world that is increasingly isolated and disconnected. With the rise of social media and digital technology, it’s easy to forget the importance of human connection and the benefits that come with being part of a community. That’s why we want to take a moment to acknowledge the work that Chai is doing at the Cambridge Food Bank.

Chai runs an incredible program that not only helps people connect with each other but also teaches them how to make low-cost nutrient-dense snacks and meals.

Here are 5 reasons why engaging with others within your community through activities like cooking can be so beneficial:

  1. Community building: Activities like cooking with others can help you build relationships and connect with people in your community. This sense of connection and belonging is crucial for our mental and emotional well-being.

  2. Learning new skills: Participating in cooking activities can help you learn new skills and techniques, as well as gain knowledge about healthy eating and nutrition.

  3. Nutrition: Cooking with others can be a great way to prepare healthy, cost-effective meals as everyone can contribute their knowledge and experience. 

  4. Fun and enjoyable: Cooking with others can be a fun and enjoyable activity, especially when you are working together towards a common goal. It can help you feel more relaxed, engaged, and fulfilled.

  5. Improved mental health: Engaging in activities with others has been shown to improve mental health outcomes, such as reducing stress and increasing feelings of happiness and well-being.

Participant Creations

Participant Testimonials

We’ve heard great testimonials from the participants of the adult programming here at the Cambridge Food Bank. We encourage everyone to take advantage of opportunities to engage with others within their community, whether it’s through cooking or other activities.

Have questions or would like to register?  Contact Chai at 519-622-6550 ext 220 or cmaybhate@cambridgefoodbank.org

Fun at the Food Bank

March 13-March 17 DIY Activities for Kids

Scroll down to see a list of March Break activities.

Monday March 13th, 2023

Cambridge Food Bank Building A house

House Building Competition

Come pick up your kit from the Cambridge Food Bank! You will have until Friday March 17 to decorate and submit a photo to Vanessa at vtoncic@cambridgefoodbank.org

Prizes to be won!

Limited quantities available.  You may come pick up your kit as early as Monday March 13th from 12:00-4:30pm.   

Cambridge Food Bank Scavenger Hunt

Photo Scavenger Hunt

Want to go on an adventure?

Complete the photo scavenger hunt anytime between Monday March 13 to Friday March 17. Take pictures as you go and submit them however you see fit!

Submit by Friday March 17 at 4:00pm to Vanessa at vtoncic@cambridgefoodbank.org to be entered to win prizes!

Banana Sushi

Here is a fun, easy and quick snack! Get everyone involved in making their own sushi!

Don't forget to tag us on social media! @cambyouthfb @cambfoodbank 

Tuesday March 14th, 2023

Cambridge Food Bank Going for a Walk


Get outside!

Go on a walk or hike somewhere NEW!

Walking with others can help to motivate you to keep walking. The friendly company keeps you from getting bored and distracts you from the walk itself. 


Talking, sharing, and learning with your family helps to strengthen your bond with each other. Studies have even shown that people who are closer to their families tend to live longer. Getting a family member into walking gives you a fun activity to do together, helps them get healthier, and motivates you to walk more. Everyone wins!



It’s also great for kids to spend time away from phones, computers and other devices and get out and play in the real world. Modeling an active lifestyle is a great way to encourage your kids or grandkids to get active as well. Kids can also be a great motivator to get more active, as you’ll need to build up the endurance to keep up with them as they’re out playing. 

Cambridge Food Bank Make a Bird Feeder

Make an Animal Feeder

Spring is coming and we want to welcome our outside friends back and out of hibernation! Create an animal feeder out of recycled materials and try to use feed from things you have at home! Make sure they are safe for our friends to eat! 

All it takes to get birds to visit your yard in winter is a reliable source of food. See which of these DIY bird feeders you like to make! 



Click here for 14 easy DIY winter bird feeder ideas


Take a picture of your final product and tag us on social media @cambyouthfb @cambfoodbank 

Wednesday March 15th, 2023

Cambridge Food Bank Colouring Contest

Colouring Contest

Choose one of our four colouring pages below! Colour, and send in your final product to Vanessa at vtoncic@cambridgefoodbank.org


Don’t forget to include your first name and age! 

Have sheet submitted by Friday March 17 at 4:00pm to be entered in to win the prizes! 


Click an image above to download and then print.

Cambridge Food Bank Hot Chocolate

Brownie in a Mug

What is better than a sweet treat! Try out one of these two Mug Brownie Recipes. Don’t forget to tag us on social media so we can see your brownie! @cambyouthfb @cambfoodbank 


Thursday March 16th, 2023

Cambridge Food Bank Play a Board Game

Play a Game

Take it back to the basics! Challenge your family or friends to a traditional game, board or cards. Disconnect from the screens and connect in the moment! Our favorites are UNO, trouble, Sorry, Monopoly!



Playing board games can honestly be quite fun!  Click here to learn more about why you might want to play 


Have fun and enjoy time together!

Cambridge Food Bank Bouncy Ball Activity for Kids

Bouncy Ball Craft

Everyone loves a bouncy ball! The possibilities are endless! We have a recipe for you to make your own bouncy ball at home with household products! 

Click here for this fun and easy science activity.



We cannot wait to see what you create! 


Friday March 17th, 2023

Cambridge Food Bank Dance Party Fun

Have a Dance Party

Blast the music and have a dance party! Try some Irish Music for St. Patrick’s Day or turn on your favorite movie or theatre soundtrack! Get everyone you can to join in! You will have the best day.


We like Disney soundtracks, Top Tik Tok tunes, or some dance tunes like Sigala!


Click here for ideas on how to take your dance party to the next level! 

Cambridge Food Bank St Patrick's Day Fun

St Patrick’s Day Party Snack

Let’s Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with Snacks AND

let’s make them GREEN or your favorite colour! 

Try these recipes below:

Lucky Charm cookies

Lime Floats- can make any flavour or use vanilla and food colouring


Check out this Spotify music playlist for your party!


Fun at the food bank. Thank you for joining Cambridge Food Bank for several DIY activities