Matanot Le'evyonim - Gifts to the Poor
Every person is obligated to give on Purim day, at least two presents to two poor people (i.e. one to each).
The present can be money or food.
A man may give a present to a poor woman.
Young children, too, should be trained to do this mitzvah.
The money given as matanot le'evyonim should not be from ma'aseir funds. This should at least be the case with the money used for the basic fulfillment of the mitzvah, i.e. one gift to two people.
If there are no poor people present, one should put the money aside, and give it to the poor when he has an opportunity.
A person who gives many portions of food to friends and presents to the poor is praiseworthy. It is, however, preferable to give generously to the poor than to prepare a lavish Purim feast or to give many portions to one's friends. For there is no greater and more beautiful happiness than to bring joy to the hearts of the poor, the orphans, and the widows. Such a person resembles Hashem, Who is praised by the prophet (Isaiah 57:15) for, "Reviving the spirit of the lowly and reviving those with crushed hearts."