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Hyde Park, Woodlawn, South Shore

Dust Off Your Family Recipes! A South Shore Group Wants Your Help For A Community Cookbook Fundraiser

South Shore residents and businesses can submit their family recipes by May 13 for the collaborative cookbook. Proceeds will support printmaking costs and programs organized by the Central South Shore Area Council.

A sign for South Shore along 71st Street on Aug. 19, 2021.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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SOUTH SHORE — A South Side neighborhood group is asking residents to dig into their family’s culinary histories to support a community project and fundraiser.

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

People can pre-order a cookbook for $20. Checks should be made payable to the Central South Shore Area Council. The council can be contacted for check pickup from South Shore residents. Money from the fundraiser will go toward printing the cookbook and supporting the Central South Shore Area Council.

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

There’s no limit on how many recipes the organization needs, but the Central South Shore Area Council is looking for at least 25 before the book is designed and sent to printers. The deadline for submissions is May 13.

Past 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 that our neighbors appreciate the book. [We’re] sort of feeling out what really sticks with our neighbors in terms of fundraising. What speaks to them? What do they like the best? We’re hoping that the book is that.”

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

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

Young said any kind of recipe can be submitted, but some may be left out of the book if there are too many submissions of one dish. In that case, Young will make the final decision on which recipes are kept, as the book’s main editor, she said.

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

“Instead of three recipes from eight people, we would prefer to see one recipe from 20 people,” Young said. “I think it would add more diversity.”

There are other ways to contribute to the cookbook. People also can buy ad space to promote organizations, businesses, services, honorees and in recognition of family events and milestones. A full page, half page or quarter page of ad space are available. 

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

Emails should be sent to centralsouthshore@thenna.org. Phone calls and texts can be made to 773-609-3005.

Young hopes the community will see the cookbook fundraiser as not just a way to support the council, but a way to support the South Shore community and preserve its legacy. 

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

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