Children & Youth Programs

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.

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

Winter Fun – Movie & Fort

Day 4 of Winter Break Fun!❄️

Take your movie experience to the next level! Make a fort, spice up your popcorn or movie snacks, and choose a favourite movie, and have the best Friday ever.🍿 Please tag us in your creations. We hope you had a great winter break.😊

Looking for some great fort and snack ideas? Visit these links below

DIY Fort Ideas

  1. How to build a blanket fort using simple items from around your house – including a video: how to make a fort 3 different ways. Grab some blankets and sheets, clothes pins, etc. and use these tips, tricks and fort ideas to make the best fort ever!  Click here
  2. The art of blanket fort construction is pretty simple. First, gather supplies for your fort’s walls and ceiling, cushions for the floor, and clips and string for securing your walls. Click here for more details
  3. Everyone needs a good fort, whether it’s a secret lair, a grand castle, or deep, dark cave. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to make your own fort out of things you have around your home, like blankets, sheets, pillows, books—whatever you can find! We’ll show you how to set up your own basic fort, give you some ideas on other ways to build your perfect hideaway, and let you in on how to deck it out to make it comfy, cozy, and stocked with snacks. Click here to see more

Popcorn Snack Ideas

  1. Sweet and Salty Marshmallow Popcorn-this sweet and salty popcorn is easy to make and great for movie night, game day, or any day! Kids and adults love it! Click here for inspiration.
  2. Why be basic when you can be awesome? These 25 unique popcorn recipes will be your new favorite movie companions. Let’s get popping! Click here to choose which is your favourite!
  3. Caramel popcorn is all dressed up with nuts and drizzled with chocolate in this yummy snack recipe. Click here for the recipe.

Winter Break Fun – Baking Cookies

Day 3 of Winter Break Fun at the Cambridge Food Bank! ❄️

There is nothing better than getting messy in the kitchen. Make your home smell yummy and start baking!

Here are a few of our favourites for you to make!🍪

Don’t forget to take pictures and tag us online

Happy baking!