This Community Outreach Program is a community-based program created to prevent and reduce the depth of child poverty in Waterloo Region. The goal of the program is to assist children and families to access services they need in their own community.
Purpose: To provide financial, recreation, personal and community linkages in the areas of food, clothing, recreation, employment and education to families with children pre-birth to 17 years of age.
Through funding from the Region of Waterloo, the CHSFB hosts one Family Outreach Worker (FOW) at 30 hours per week and one that is located in the Hespeler section of Cambridge at 16 hours per week.
Programs Supported by the Cambridge Family Outreach Worker
Infant Nutrition: Once monthly workshops that provide instruction on making baby food with supplies given to the parents to take home. The Community Nutrition Worker (part of the Region of Waterloo Peer Health Program) and the Family Outreach Worker work cooperatively to offer this program.
Groups of 6 – 8 caregivers learn how to cook, prepare and freeze nutritious food for their child(ren). All participants receive a starter kit that includes all the necessary tools to begin preparing their own baby food.
Infant & Nutrition Program is fully funded by Kurt and Bert Walters.
Backpacks for Bookworms
Backpack for Bookworms was created when families using the Food Bank expressed a concern about their children not having the school supplies needed for the upcoming school year. This program provides families with a donated backpack filled with grade appropriate supplies.
An advisory committee oversees this program with support from the Family Outreach Worker. Each August families under the Low Income Cut Off (LICO) are offered grade appropriate backpacks/school supplies.
New Baby Baskets
Baby Baskets are given to low-income families who are expecting a child to help the family begin the next chapter in their life. These baskets are filled with baby essentials that may include; blankets, diaper cream and small toys. Our best wishes are sent to these families as they welcome their new arrival.
Dedicated seniors at John Bayus Park provides knitted items and baby blankets for the the New Baby Baskets
Birthdays in a box
Birthday Boxes provides items for children’s birthdays whose parent(s) are unable to provide a present for the child that is turning 7 or under. We feel that birthdays are very important in all children’s lives, and we are glad to be able to help in this way. Parents are asked to call a couple of days in advance of their child’s birthday.
Birthday box includes items such as; cake mix, invitations, balloons, party games/favours and an age appropriate gift.
The Christmas Season can be overwhelming for families who do not have enough money to buy gifts for their children . The Food Bank administers two programs that offer help to these families in need. The Christmas Support program takes placeat a designated site, and receive gifts for their children. Each child is provided with a large gift, stocking stuffers, books etc. The Cambridge Firefighters Basket Fund and Salvation Army partner with the Food Bank to ensure all families in need in Cambridge and North Dumfries are provided with toys and food for Christmas.