Dust off your family recipes! A South Shore group wants your help for a community cookbook fundraiser

Block Club Chicago

SOUTH SHORE — A South Side neighborhood group asks residents to dig into their family’s culinary history to support a community project and fundraiser.

The Central South Shore Area Council collects recipes from residents for its South Shore Community Cookbook. Designed as a way to connect South Shore residents through their individual culinary legacies, the cookbook will also feature photographs of South Shore and the dishes themselves.

People can pre-order a cookbook for $20. Checks must be made payable to the Central South Shore Area Council. The City may be contacted to collect checks from South Shore residents. The fundraiser will go towards printing the cookbook and supporting the Central South Shore Area Council.

“We were trying to come up with some fundraising ideas and we thought, ‘What better way to connect them through food?'” said Linda Young, the chair of the Central South Shore Area Council. “We started our membership — that’s about 100 members — and asking all the people who live in South Shore to contribute to our cookbook.”

There is no limit to the number of recipes the organization needs, but the Central South Shore Area Council seeks at least 25 before the book is designed and sent to the printer. The deadline for submissions is May 13.

Previous fundraisers have focused on selling flowers and popcorn. Young said she hopes the cookbook will be a popular enough idea that it can be replicated in the future.

“It’s a way to showcase our community,” Young said. “We hope our neighbors appreciate the book. [We’re] kind of feel what really sticks with our neighbors in terms of fundraising. What appeals to them? What do they like best? We hope the book is.”

Those who pre-order a cookbook will receive it on June 18 during the organization’s Juneteenth event. There, anyone who has donated enough to receive a book can pick up their copy while enjoying Juneteenth activities. More information about the event will be shared closer to the date.

Those who don’t order a book by the May 13 deadline may be able to purchase one at the town’s Juneteenth event for $30, though availability isn’t guaranteed.

Young said any kind of recipe can be submitted, but some can be left out of the book if there are too many entries of one dish. In that case, Young as editor-in-chief of the book will make the final decision about which recipes to keep.

Although the deadline is approaching, Young said they were struggling to get entries. So far the book has at least eight recipes and could use more to have more variety.

“Instead of three recipes for eight people, we prefer to see one recipe for twenty people,” says Young. “I think it would add more diversity.”

There are other ways to contribute to the cookbook. People can also purchase advertising space to promote organizations, businesses, services, awards, and in recognition of family events and milestones. Full page, half page or quarter page of advertising space is available.

Those wishing to donate to the fundraiser, receive a cookbook, or otherwise contribute to the cookbook are encouraged to contact the Central South Shore Area Council with their contact information by May 13.

Emails should be sent to [email protected] You can call and text 773-609-3005.

Young hopes the community sees the cookbook fundraiser not only as a way to support the community, but also as a way to support the South Shore community and preserve its legacy.

“Improving our neighborhoods takes effort and resources,” said Young. “We just want our neighbors to understand that” [they can] participate in our organization, the Central South Shore Area Council, in some way, whether it be to give us your time as volunteers, participate in our fundraising efforts, or simply make a general donation to our organization.”

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