Calling All Chefs: Food for Fines Book Lovers' Recipe Contest

Do you have the cooking chops to become the Kansas City Public Library’s resident Top Chef? In celebration of Food for Fines (Nov. 7-13), we’re holding a recipe contest to see who can come up with the best dish using nonperishable food.

The winning chef-testant will receive a lip-smacking prize package of hand-picked cookbooks from our gourmand librarians, and he or she will become Internet-famous when we post the winning recipe online.

If you’ve been following us on Facebook and Twitter, you’ll know that between Monday, November 7, and Sunday, November 13, we’re encouraging patrons to bring non-perishable canned and boxed food to any Kansas City Public Library location to be donated to Harvesters: The Community Food Network. Each item is applied as a $1 credit toward the reduction of your existing Library late fees.

Last year, our Food for Fines campaign brought in more than 17,000 food items to Harvesters. That’s the equivalent of 13,000 meals provided to hungry Kansas Citians. So if you’ve got outstanding fines, now’s the perfect time to open up the cupboard, grab a hefty bag, and get down to the Library.

The Recipe Contest: Help us raise awareness for Harvesters by bending your culinary creativity to come up with an amazing recipe using at least one canned or nonperishable boxed food item. It could be a can of tuna, a packet of soup mix, a box of macaroni and cheese, peanut butter, cereal or anything else you might donate to Harvesters. (It needn’t contain only nonperishables; but you get bonus points for the more you use.)

Instructions: Dream up your recipe, cook it up, send us a photo of the finished dish, and include the list of ingredients and instructions. Deadline: Sunday, Nov. 13, at 5 p.m. E-mail your recipe and photo to

We’ll post all the recipes we get next Monday, Nov. 14, right here on the blog, and we’ll choose the winner based on originality, tastiness, and the likelihood that we’ll serve his or her concoction as a side dish at Thanksgiving.

Get cooking, KC!

About the Author

Jason Harper is the web content developer at the Kansas City Public Library. He has been tweeting, Facebooking, blogging, and YouTubing for the Library since 2010.