By Polly Keary, Editor
A Monroe non-profit that feeds some of the area’s hungriest people will raise funds this fall and winter by selling a cookbook containing favorite recipes from around the community.
Take the Next Step, a resource center for people in crisis, facilitates free weekly dinners and thrice-weekly bagged lunches for people who need them.
That’s not all the organization does, though. Among its many services are computers for use in job and home hunting, an afterschool program for at-risk kids, a reference center to the many services available through other organizations in the region, a drop-in center for homeless or people with other kinds of crises to frequent during the day, and much more.
In order to help the non-profit pay for all it does, in particular the drop-in center, a committee established to support Take The Next Step decided to use a book about food to help raise funds for a non-profit that feeds people.
Rita Gilfilen had a friend who had assembled a cookbook to raise money to fight breast cancer, so she called the book’s publisher and learned how to go about making a cookbook.
The publisher specializes in fundraising cookbooks, so all the committee had to do was round up about 150 recipes.
That turned out to be easier than they thought, said Gilfilen.
“We hit that goal and more kept coming in,” she said.
Finally they selected 200 of the recipes they got and put them in the book.
The recipes are very eclectic.
“There’s pad Thai and curry, Italian and Mexican, low sugar and low carb,” said Gilfilen.
The committee started collecting recipes about a year ago, and turned them in to the publisher in May. Then there was a lengthy process of proofreading print and electronic copies.
Finally everything was ready, and the publisher said to expect the final product in about a month.
“But four or five days later it was done,” said Gilfilen.
The cookbook, called “Bon Appetit: Take The Next Step,” is $15, and as each book cost about $5 to make, $10 goes directly to support the non-profit’s drop-in center.
The books are available at Take The Next Step during open hours Monday, Wednesday and Friday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
There will be copies at various craft fairs and bazaars this year, including the annual Morningstar Lutheran Church Alternative Gift Fair Dec. 7 at Frank Wagner. Pine Creek Nursery is carrying them, and they can also be ordered online at www.thenextstepmonroe.org.