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A Sense of Community Through Recipe Collection

A recipe card with the note, A sense of community through recipe collection.

Sharing recipes is a connection people have had for centuries. Sharing recipes with one another as family, friends and even community is something that binds us together. From recipes scrawled on napkins at potlucks, those mailed in letters, ripped from magazines and clipped from newspapers, recipes come to us from a variety of sources. In my kitchen are my grandmother’s cookbooks filled with added recipes in her handwriting and ones tucked in from other sources.

As our world faces a time of concern and many people are in isolation due to the COVID-19 virus, now the sharing of recipes may be a life line of hope. For groups, organizations and churches reaching out to isolated members and ensuring they have daily contact over the phone will help alleviate anxiety and offer some light into their day.

We can provide you with the resources to set up a recipe collection project to give isolated people a project to work on. We suggest the name “Project Recipe Box.”

The idea is to call those that are isolated and check in on them. Below is a sample of what could be said:

With all the extra time we have on our hands right now, we are starting a project called “Project Recipe Box.” We are reaching out to collect the very best recipes our friends/family/members have. Over time we hope to have a nice selection of these so that we can eventually compile them into a shareable cookbook. I’d like to call back on (insert date) and have you read me your favorite recipe over the phone so I can add it to our collection. I would also like to add your favorite memory, quote and any unique history fact you may have about our group/family/organization. The book can be a collection of many things – recipes, memories, quotes, history, etc., all combined into 1 book.

 Once you confirm the date/time that you will call back make sure that you follow up. We can provide you with a PDF form you can print off to collect recipes or an interactive PDF that you can sit at the computer and type the recipe into. If you don’t have a printer available to print the forms, we can mail you forms to write the recipes on. For downloadable options see below or contact us and we will email them out.

Having this type of interaction will give people, especially seniors something to do. They can spend time looking through cookbooks and deciding which is their favorite recipe. They also have a phone call to look forward to!

For organizations, this project also provides you with the resources to create a fundraising cookbook to help with the recovery for so many, after things start to settle in place. Cookbooks make great holiday gifts, so planning this may help make someone’s holiday brighter by providing an easy gift purchase option and have money go for a great cause.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us with questions you may have about collecting recipes. We are happy to help you set up a “Project Recipe Box” to keep the sense of community going.

Additional Ideas:

Weekly post one recipe from the box on social media

Collect favorite cooking/baking tips and hacks

Short stories could be placed instead of recipes, so have people share a story of a shared meal.

Have kids create recipes. These are often funny and can be shared to create smiles. Have them write/draw out their recipes, then snap a photo to share.

Do you have artists in your group? Have them create drawings that could be used for covers/dividers. (Feel free to contact us for recommended dimensions.)

Encourage members to dig through old memory boxes for additional information that can be used to create a history of your group.  We also do genealogy and history books so we can offer suggestions on how to collect information like that as well.

Funny stories – Ask people if they have any funny stories about cooking/baking. These days we could all use a good laugh.

Download Printable Recipe Forms Here

Download Interactive Recipe Form Here