On November 24, 2009 while walking to the local coffee shop, I spotted a penny on the sidewalk near a group of shops. I stopped, bent down and picked it up. As I did, a group of teenagers that was standing nearby watching me started to snicker.

Their implication was clear. They believed that the penny was worthless and I was foolish for picking it up. I, on the other hand, saw things a bit differently. I have always picked up coins, but their reaction got me thinking. What is a penny really worth? What can one achieve when starting with only a penny?

As I thought about this, I became more convinced that there is value beyond what most people see in the money that is lying on the ground. I believe there is enough value in that penny that it can ultimately help a large number of people. This is my journey as I try to see if I’m correct by turning that “worthless” penny into $1,000,000 of food for local food banks.

As I begin this journey, I’m not exactly sure how I am going to achieve this goal. That is part of what should make this journey interesting to follow. I also hope that the journey ultimately shows that one person with one penny and a bit of determination can make a difference. I hope that you will join me on this journey and it will inspire you to try and do the same…

Jeffrey Strain

15 Responses to About

  1. Gail says:

    I pick up stray pennies on the sidewalk ALL THE TIME! I am with you on this.

  2. Pingback: Making Dollars Out of Change: The Penny Experiment | Madame Deals

  3. Erick Mott says:

    A great story and idea. I will help you achieve your goal by helping you spread the word and your blog. Good luck!

  4. Unknown Mami says:

    Very interesting. Wishing you much success!

  5. Emmy says:

    Sure, Good luck!

  6. Susie says:

    Hi Jeffrey, still working on a piece of art for donation, but I’m so impressed with your project that I wrote a piece about it on our blog and will promote on all our sites. Thought you might want to take a look at it, though, and let me know if corrections are needed. You’ll find it on hardluckstudios.net/blog.
    Thanks again for doing this!

  7. Cory says:

    Very cool idea. I worked at the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas while in Americorps and would be more than happy to put you in touch with the folks over there if you’d like. They’re big into social media and I think they’d be a great potential partner/sponsor/beneficiary.

  8. Pingback: Monroe on a Budget » The Penny Experiment and its food pantry campaign

  9. Hello,

    Isn’t is amazing what ‘real’ people do! Thank you for connecting with me through Twitter, and inspiring me to look at what you were ‘tweeting’ about. I will add your information to my blog. I am very keen on inspiring people to make planetary change and why not start with a penny.

    Best wishes,

  10. Jeremiah says:

    How funny I always find change and had a similar idea but focusing on a different cause. I would cash out about every 2 months with people pledging to give the same amount I found or even more. Glad to see you made your Idea a reality instead of an ever mounting jar of coins and a never used blog.

  11. Jamie says:

    Just found the site this morning. Good luck on the new adventure. Picking up pennies reminds me of days as a child picking up drink bottles for the $.05 deposit.

  12. TelulaBlue says:

    Can we donate to animal shelters or is this food bank only?

  13. admin says:


    You can donate wherever you like – the main focus is to make a difference 🙂

  14. Chavonne says:

    Bless you for doing this. I am going to pick up any extra change I see outside and see what I can do with it. I enjoy being creative.

  15. You are so amazing in what you do and how you’ve inspired others! You have been such a blessing to our pantry and the ripple effect of your work continues to spread 🙂 Heartfelt thanks & happiest thoughts!

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