Purim Challenge: You Give Cans. I Give Cash.

**REMINDER** Today is the last day to donate canned goods to the Purim Mitzvah Challenge. TIZKU L’MITZVOT!!!

Last week I hinted at a little Matanot l’Evyonim challenge that I would be hosting for Purim. Well, I’m very excited to announce that as of today, for every non-perishable food item that you donate between now and Ta’anit Esther, my husband and I will donate 10ยข to Meir Panim in Israel (up to $200).

Meir Panim is an organization that I really believe in. They do great work feeding the hungry across Israel – and there are a lot of hungry to feed. Did you know that one in four Israeli children live below the poverty line?

In light of the tragic events unfolding in Japan, my husband and I will also donate $.10/item to the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee for Japan/Pacific disaster relief.

As far as this challenge goes, here’s what I’m thinking: You know how I’m always saying that couponing is a great way to create margin in your life? Margin for stuff like spendy kosher food. Or fancy new shoes?

Well, couponing is also an amazing way to enable you to give more generously to people in need – especially when you are on a very tight budget. So, whether you use your mad coupon skillz to pick up free food; or you just pluck a few cans off your stockpile shelves; or you go into the store and pay full price — I’m good with however you donate it.

Just give as generously as your budget allows — and then leave me a comment on this post with the number of items you donated.

This post will stay at the top of the page until Taanit Esther, so feel free to comment multiple times with multiple donations!

My husband will help me to keep track of all the items donated and then we’ll give you the final tally on Purim!

Houston Ima and In Our Small Garden have joined the Purim Challenge. They will be donating $.10 to Yad Sarah and Leket Israel, respectively, for every canned good you donate. So after you finish leaving your total on my blog, please hop over to Houston Ima and In Our Small Garden with your total as well. “Triple dipping” is welcome – we just want our checks to be as big as possible!


  1. Mara, this is so wonderful of you! Meir Panim is a great organization. We don’t have a kosher food pantry here in Denver, but we do have a Tomchei Shabbat that gives kosher food on a weekly basis to kosher families in need. How about if my husband and I give $18 to that? Can we do a 18 can equivalence?

  2. This is such a great idea, Mara! Thank you for doing this. You are a very kind person.

    We live in a really small town right now – my husband is getting his doctorate and this was the best program for him, despite the fact that we have virtually no community :(.

    Anyway, there is no kosher food pantry, but since as you said this isn’t specifically for Matanot l’Evyonim, I’m happy to just donate it to the local soup kitchen. I actually volunteer there and they have a “store” that they run for the homeless where they can “buy” canned goods, tooth paste, etc.

    Like you taught us, I use coupons to get freebies that I can donate to this store. So, today, I gathered up all my freebies from the last week: 2 free dental floss, 4 free Ibuprofen, 3 free toothpaste and 6 cans of soup. I will probably have to update this a few more times, LOL, but I’m sure you don’t mind!

    Thank you so much for your blog, Mara. You have taught me so much and I am so glad that I can give back (even on my husband’s paltry TA salary)!

    • Thanks you, Tonya! You are too kind!

      And thanks for donating your freebies. Love that couponing margin lets us be even more generous!

      We’re now at 33 items donated my friends! Keep it coming ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Meir Panim is a wonderful organization! When we lived in Israel, we would always give donations to them and they’d give us cards to include with our mishloach manot. Do you know what I mean? I will definitely participate in your challenge! Thank you.

  4. Lauren Gerofsky says

    My Hebrew School class’s theme is Mitzvot. The kids are tens years old, and after each lesson of when and where a given mitzvah comes from, I give them ideas and choices to pick a “service project or two.” I will be adding this challenge to our list for our Purim lesson. Thanks! I will write again to let you know we are doing ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. I’m Taking My Kadima kids Shopping Saturday night for our local food pantry (kosher). I’ll let you know what our total is on Sunday.

    • Oh, I am so excited about you and Lauren involving your “kids” in this. Give, give, give!

      • We went to the supermarket Saturday night and bout around 18 different things (cans, pasta, cereal etc). the kids really enjoyed the shopping and i think they felt good buying stuff to donate!

        • That’s wonderful, Zippy. I am adding your 18 to our total! Thanks so much for involving your “kids” in this project. Tizku l’Mitzvot.

  6. This is such a beautiful idea! One of the reasons I truly love this blog is that it has enabled me to save enough that I am able to easily DOUBLE my yearly tzedakah contributions. Fearing that I won’t be able to get to the supermarket/food pantry in the next few weeks with my work schedule, I made a $100 donation to Meir Panim this evening. Thanks for the inspiration Mara (and Frankie)!

  7. Ok done!

  8. Hi Mara,
    thanks for helping me via email. you are very kind.
    i learned a lot reading your blog and, happily, this is my first time trying to donate on-line and am donating $15 worth of canned food this holiday.
    Am planning to add more.
    Thanks again,

    • Thank you so much Sigal! That’s wonderful. My husband and I will match your contribution with $15 to Meir Panim. Tizki l’Mitzvot!

  9. Tziporah says

    It doesn’t have to be a kosher food pantry? If not I am donating 24 items to Harvesters.

    • Excellent! It’s fine if it’s not a kosher food pantry. K is great, but I know not everyone has that option. Plus, it’s hard to argue with the wonderful work that Harvesters does!

      Thanks so much, Tziporah. Tzki l’Mitzvot!

  10. Anonymous says

    I donated 50 cans via Houston Ima.

  11. I’m donating 24 cans of tuna fish tomorrow – I got it delivered today by Amazon on a special deal that i learned about through you!
    thanks Mara!

    • Thank YOU, Nancy! What a generous donation. I’m sure your pantry will be very happy to have all that protein! Tizki l’Mitzvot.

  12. Mom in NJ says

    I gave three itemsto a local pantry.

  13. 12 toiletry/drug items donated to KCK School District’s homeless liaison (that’s what they said they needed – so not cans this time…)

  14. Got 2 free excedrin…. I am allergic to aspirin so its going to the food pantry…, also, some instant oatmeal that was free and not kosher (love how you taught me how to stack), and 5 other snack things that I bought to give away. Chag Samach!

  15. We donated over 60 cans to Yad L’Yad, a local food bank and gave over 30 items to other families in need (cereal, cans of Hunts and Green Giant, oatmeal, pie filling, etc.)

  16. We gave 10 items. Thanks for this opportunity!

  17. Laura lee says

    I also donated some freebies and cans of hearty vegetable soup: 10 cans soup, 6 cans tuna, 1 jar mayo, and 1 jar peanut butter. Thank you and y’asher koach.

    • Thank you so much, Laura. I know that your donations will be greatly appreciated. Tizki l’Mitzvot and yashar koach to YOU!

  18. We donated 10 items!

  19. I couldn’t let myself comment here about the few items I dropped off and commented about on the 2 other blogs who are also doing this wonderful challenge ,so I went this morning and dropped off 6 more in the “mailbox” type container outside my local supermarket (I think it’s put there by Chasdi Nechama- I don’t know enough about them to tell you anymore) but and I am happy for these 6 items to go the distance and help Meir Panim as well via your generosity.
    Thank you


    • Thank you so much, Daniela! I’m glad this challenge has pushed you to give a little more. The needs are so great. Tizki l’Mitzvot!

  20. I am donating 12 items (pasta, rice, canned goods) to Family Table, a kosher food pantry in Boston. Thank you for the impetus to do this mitzvah, and for a great blog!

  21. Forgot to mention — our minyan asked everyone to bring boxes of pasta to megillah reading instead of graggers = a nice way to collect more food on Purim itself.

    • Thank you so much for your donation, Rachel. And I love the pasta box idea. I am going to pass that on to my rabbi right now! Tizki l’Mitzvot.

  22. I am donating 10 items.

  23. Yasher Koach on this awesome initiative, Mara. I took your suggestion and let my 1 yo and 3 yo put 38 toiletry items and 4 food items in the proper baskets at our shul. This was from my family and my parents. We collect year round for the food pantry and women’s shelter, but my kids never knew what those baskets were there for before. Many of the toiletries were freebies that I got bc of your blog (dental floss, excedrin, toothpaste and toothbrushes). Thank you for inspiring us to “give like no one else!” Chag Sameach!

    • full disclosure: about 30 of the toiletries were travel/sample sizes, 8 were full size. chag sameach.

      • All sizes are wonderful. I once read that shelters for abused women like having sample sizes on hand, since so many of their clients are passing through to somewhere safer and can’t carry alot with them when they go. It’s sad to think about, but I love knowing that everything can be useful.

        Thanks so much for your sweet comment, which brought tears to my eyes.

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