Mishloach manot, (translation:sending of portions) are commonly referred to as Purim baskets. These baskets or pretty bags are filled with food and given to friends and family, teachers and coworkers on Purim.
The commandment to give these gifts comes from the Book of Esther (which contains the story of Purim) and is intended to ensure that everyone has food for the Purim feast. They are also said to increase the love and connection between Jews – and for our purposes – between people.
I find that homemade goodies are especially appreciated and so much fun to make.
Make some hamentashen (recipe here) and perhaps another cookie you love. Get children, grandparents, and friends into the act. Add some nuts and tangerines and you’ve got a lovely gift.
Or you may want to buy some baskets. Many schools sell Purim baskets to raise funds for their institution.
This year Beth Israel of Berkeley’s preschool Gan Shalom is selling organic, fair-trade, Mishloah Manot. They have this to say about their baskets.
The Mishloach Manot packages include: Flamous Brands falafel chips, Barefruit apple chips, Ecoteas, Organic and fair trade chocolate from Chocolove, Yummy Earth lollipops, and Fresh-baked organic Hamentaschen. The packages are $28 if they are going to be picked-up or delivered in Berkeley, Albany, or Kensington. They are an additional $10 if we are shipping them. We ship anywhere in the US.
Go here to learn more and to order. http://cbiganshalom.wordpress.com/