Restaurant owner Jeff Flancer recently donated $3,900 to Jewish Family and Children’s Service (JFCS) in a sweet way.

Flancer, who owns the Flancer’s restaurants in Gilbert and Mesa, sets aside one dessert on the menu (currently bread pudding), and donates a percentage of each dessert plate sold to his favorite charities. In addition to the desserts, Flancer runs an annual pizza-eating contest with proceeds going to nonprofit organizations.

Flancer told Jewish News that he decided to begin his charitable work because “since I had success, I wanted to help others.”

Flancer mainly donates to three charities: JFCS, WarFighter Sports of Disabled Sports USA and Sunshine Acres Children’s Home.

 After the death of his son in 2014, he set up a fund with JFCS in his son’s memory, called the Max Flancer Youth Assistance Fund.

According to Frank Jacobson, JFCS vice president of marketing and development, Flancer has donated thousands  of dollars to the Youth Assistance Fund in order to support foster youth with mental health challenges to engage in healthy living and pro-social skills. The funding provides opportunities for foster children at JFCS to engage in social activities such as bowling with other children or other similar activities that boost self-esteem, engage the children in foster care with their local community and give them experience in social settings that they may not be exposed to without the funding from the Youth Assistance Fund.

The children also benefit from dance classes, writing classes and other skills-oriented programs that are partly funded from donations made by Flancer.

Each year, Flancer’s goal has been to reach about $30,000 to share equally among the three organizations. Flancer has reached that goal in a couple of ways: using the charity dessert choice on his menu, as well as his annual pizza-eating contest. Participants in the contest race to eat two extra-large pizzas in the quickest time possible.

This year’s winner was crowned by Miss Arizona and Gilbert Mayor John Lewis and won a trophy and a $100 gift card to Flancer’s restaurant.

The future goals of his charitable giving are to “give as much time and resources, including money, to the charities as possible,” said Flancer. “[To] help transform and add quality of life to people who need help through little to no fault of their own.”

To donate to the youth fund, visit jfcsaz.org.