By David M. Fitzpatrick
OF THE WEEKLY STAFF
Bangor Federal Credit Union has just published its “Maine Family Favorites” cookbook, with proceeds to benefit the Campaign for Ending Hunger in Maine.
The cookbook features 259 recipes contributed by about 70 employees and members. Beyond just being a cookbook, this project pays tribute to many, with recipe submitters honoring those from whom they learned the recipes. Recipe bylines frequently are “in memory of,” “in honor of,” or “from the kitchen of” particular people.
“Sometimes it’s just ‘from my wife’s kitchen,’ and sometimes it’s just ‘shared by’ a particular person,” said Evangeline Hussey, assistant to the CEO. “The Fundraising Committee wanted to make this a book of memories.”
Bangor FCU partnered with Morris Press Cookbooks, which has specialized in cookbooks for about 30 years. The committee chose a three-ring-binder format and even included a built-in cookbook stand. Pop out the plastic stand from the binder, and it holds the cookbook up and open.
“We spent a little bit more to get a few of these extra features, but we think that they’re really nice,” said Hussey.
Bangor FCU member Don Powers, owner of Atlantic Photography, donated photos for the project, including a wraparound image for the cover and photos for the eight tabbed category dividers. Powers was happy to lend his photos to the project.
“The thought of anyone being hungry in Maine is disturbing to me, especially when children are involved,” Powers said in an email. “I am in hopes that the cookbook will in some way help to offset this problem. It is a privilege to be a part of this endeavor.”
Other great amenities include tables of weights and measures, roasting charts and cooking hints. Food facts fill any excess space on recipe pages.
Local advertising in the back of the cookbook helped offset the project’s costs. Even after the bills are paid, there’s plenty of money to be made for the cause.
“If we sell all the books… we would raise over $5,000 just with this effort,” said Hussey. “And we’re still going to do a lot of the other fundraisers, too.”
And if they sell 75 percent of the 454 cookbooks in the next few months, Bangor FCU can submit the cookbook to a contest that Morris Press Cookbooks runs. A win could earn an additional $1,000, $2,000 or $5,000 towards the Campaign for Ending Hunger.
The cookbook project is in conjunction with Bangor FCU’s ongoing support of the Campaign for Ending Hunger by the members of the Maine Credit Union League. In 2012, MCUL members raised a record $471,744.42, with a total of $4.8 million since 1990.
In 2012, Bangor FCU placed eighth in the top 25 credit union fundraisers, which earned it additional money from the MCUL. The credit union hopes for a repeat performance this year, with the cookbook leading their many efforts, including the recent Valentine’s Day raffle, the sale of Bangor FCU-branded bags of coffee and the sale of used books in branch lobbies.
“Bangor Federal Credit Union is community oriented, and one of our goals is always to give back to the communities that we serve,” said Hussey. “We work really hard throughout the year, as do a lot of credit unions in Maine, to raise funds, and one of the things that we aim for is to always try to do better than the year before.”
In 2012, Bangor FCU raised $14,317.30 for the Campaign for Ending Hunger. Placing in the top 25 credit unions earned them a $790 bonus from the MCUL. Bangor FCU is hoping to place in the top 25 again, in part thanks to this team effort between staff and members.
“We want to give back to our community, and the Campaign for Ending Hunger in Maine is one way we can do that,” said Hussey. “We thought a cookbook would be a great way to get employees and our members involved in that worthwhile cause.”
Hussey hopes the cookbook sells out, and Bangor FCU has to order a second printing. You can help meet that goal by purchasing a copy of the Maine Family Favorites Cookbook at the Bangor FCU locations on Hogan Road and Hammond Street in Bangor or on Dirigo Drive in Brewer. The cost of the cookbook is $19.95.