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Metro Detroit bakeries join global effort to help Ukrainian refugees

Hamantashen Zingerman's bakehouse
Posted at 11:17 PM, Mar 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-02 23:17:46-05

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (WXYZ) — Tuesday was for paczki, but the rest of the month is for hamantaschen. It's a Jewish pastry made for the holiday Purim and this year, it's going to a good cause.

“It's really heartwarming and great that there’s so many of us,” said Amy Emberling, owner of Zingerman's Bakehouse in Ann Arbor.

Zingerman's sells the small desserts every year ahead of Purim, which this year is celebrated on March 16 and March 17. They’ve joined a global effort called Hamantaschen for Ukraine, where participating bakeries donate $1 of each cookie sold this March to refugees fleeing Ukraine through the Polish Humanitarian Action.

“The money will provide food and clothing and probably essential things they need when they’re on the run,” Emberling said. "It makes me feel a little less helpless.”

The idea first started just days ago at a Jewish bakery in Berlin, Germany. From there, it spread online and now dozens of bakeries in at least six countries have signed on, including Sister Pie in Detroit and Tuscan Cafe in downtown Northville.

“Clicked on it, found out more and decided right away we wanted to be part of it,” said Jayme Hundley, owner of Tuscan Cafe.

Hundley says she found out about the campaign on Instagram. In just two days of selling hamantaschen, they’ve already surpassed their usual yearly sales of the pastry.

“I think we’re all feeling helpless and interested in helping, and this is just one small effort that we’re making,” Hundley said. "(It's) a way for our customers also to feel like they’re helping in some way too.”

“I'm not surprised they’re doing the fundraiser for Ukraine," Zingerman's customer Annie Lavergne said. "They're just that kind of people.”

As the fundraiser continues to grow, customers at Zingerman’s are all on board, knowing that they too can be apart of something big, even with something small.

“Makes me feel like I'm participating with them in some really minor way," Emberling said. "At least I'm not just sitting here and watching it happen.”

Both Tuscan Cafe and Zingerman's offer online ordering at their websites zingermansbakehouse.com and thetuscancafe.com.