The Cambridge Self-Help Food Bank first opened its doors in 1985 as a temporary measure in response to a severe economic recession. At the time the only available help for Cambridge residents was via church based programs or soup kitchens and food banks in the surrounding areas.
The organization was founded by members of social services, community, religious organizations, a lawyer and several community members. This group of people changed the way people living below the poverty line in Cambridge were viewed and changed the way food was distributed as they established the Food Bank of Cambridge and North Dumfries.
The Food Bank serves the City of Cambridge and Township of North Dumfries, which together has a population of approximately 132,000. Over 1800 – 2000 families are helped each month, as well as 22 community organizations are provided with food.
The Food Bank employs twelve full time equivalent staff; however volunteers are the key of our success. Our volunteers consist of adults, students, community assigned workers, co-op students and individuals on work placements. Over 1000 volunteers contribute hours to our organization every year.
This model Food Bank was born based on the belief that people’s dignity and self-respect were paramount and that all people have something valuable to contribute. We work to dispel the societal attitude that people who access food banks are ‘not good enough’ and are ‘less than’ everyone else. Our goal is to have everyone walking out feeling better than when they came in.
Our mission is to offer additional food products and assistance to residents in need. We work to foster self-reliance by offering educational opportunities, job training and one-on-one emotional support.
We are dedicated to feeding the hungry