Community cookbooks—you know, those spiral bound collections with each contributor credited--began as a way for women to come together and share recipes and to support a common cause be it a local church, school, club, or other fundraising goal. The concept became so popular and spread rapidly throughout the nation that more than 3,000 charity cookbooks were published between 1864 and 1922, according to Feeding America, an historic cookbook project of Michigan State University. Antiquarian bookseller, collector and food historian Don Lindgren shares his insights into this movement from charitable funding to the breaking of gender limits.

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