It has long been held to be true that the appearance of charitable or community cook books came about as an adjunct to raising funds during the Civil War for veterans, widows and orphans through Sanitary Fairs, the first held in Philadelphia in 1864. The Poetical Cook-Book by Maria J. Moss appeared at their Fair published by The Caxton Press of C. Sherman, Son & Company, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This slim volume was groundbreaking in the history of women, book publishing, and the uniquely American fund-raising tradition.
In America's Charitable Cooks: A Bibliography by Margaret Cook (1971) the author notes in the Pennsylvania entry The Poetical Cook-Book, "Apparently the first cook book published and sold in the United States to benefit a charitable cause."
Under the New York entries, Ms. Cook says of The Economist (1847) by the New-York Association for Improving the Condition of the Poor, "Apparently not a fund raising book for charity," but instructions to the poor living on limited incomes.