SEARCY First Security Bancorp Chairman/CEO Reynie Rutledge presented the Arkansas Foodbank with a $25,000 check on Feb. 23 - the proceeds from more than 5,000 cookbooks sold during the holidays.
The What’s Cookin’ at First Security cookbook featured more than 1,900 recipes contributed by employees and customers.
The idea originated with two First Security employees, one of whom was Kristi Thurmon of Searcy, marketing officer for First Security Bank. She saw it as an opportunity to give to Arkansas Foodbank. The “management” rallied aroundthe idea and gave its blessing to employees as they took on the tasks of every additional step - from gathering recipes and creating promotional pieces, to producing the cookbook and encouraging sales.
The project allowed the whole spectrum of the First Security family to participate - employees and customers from banking centers across Arkansas. Gold Club members submitted family recipes passed down from generation to generation, while Kids Club members submitted recipes in simple terms other kids can follow. Employees wanted to pack as many recipes into the cookbook as they could - more than 1,900 - while keeping itaffordable for anyone to purchase.
The ultimate goal was to contribute as much as possible to the Arkansas Foodbank and its member agencies.
In Searcy and White County, funds will benefit Faith Assembly of God, the Good Samaritan Center, His House at College Church of Christ, the Searcy Children’s Home, Sidney Deener Elementary School and the White County Aging Program, as well as The Lord’s Pantry at Judsonia Church of Christ and the Beebe Christian Outreach Center and Crosspoint Ministries and Mannafest Blessings, both in Beebe.
First Security has previously participated in Golf for Food and Empty Bowls - thefoodbank’s largest fundraisers - but this is the first time the organization has held a fundraiser of its own.
The money will be distributed among the Foodbank’s member agencies and throughthe Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance, which includes the Arkansas Foodbank, the Food Bank of North Central Arkansas, the Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas and the Northwest Arkansas Foodbank.