That’s the mission statement for Open Arms of Minnesota. This amazing nonprofit organization believes that food is medicine, and with the help of volunteers they deliver meals to Twin City residents living with cancer, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, and ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). The program also provides meals to their caregivers and dependents.
Open Arms was founded in 1986 by Bill Rowe, who started out cooking food in his apartment. Today, the organization has its own 21,000-square-foot building with a state of the art kitchen that has the capacity to prepare more than 1,000 meals each week.
Fresh Grown Vegetables
Open Arms is more than a place where meals are cooked. Much of the vegetables and herbs for the program are grown on multiple urban farm sites in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Open Arms and their volunteers have transformed these underutilized spaces into farms to nourish the communities surrounding them.
And, it really couldn’t get any healthier. Open Arms uses organic methods and permaculture practices. The gardens produce kale, herbs, tomatoes, beans, basil, carrots, onions, and a variety of herbs. There are currently four farm locations, and each is always looking for volunteer help during the growing and harvesting months.
How You Can Help
Vinyl Art proudly supports Open Arms of Minnesota. Once a week throughout April, in groups of two we helped to deliver 240 meals to chronically ill people and their caregivers and families. Open Arms is only able to operate at such a scale with the help of volunteers. They have opportunities in the kitchen, at their urban farms, in the office—or like we help, on meal delivery.
We participate as an organization, but you can help even as an individual. Would you like to join us? Find out more information about volunteering here.
We were betting there wouldn’t be any more blizzards to coincide with our volunteer dates this year. If you’ve lived here long enough, you know we could have lost that bet!