Open Arms of Minnesota
"Nourishing Neighbors by Building Community"
Open Arms of Minnesota is a nonprofit organization that prepares and delivers nourishing meals free of charge to critically ill Minnesotans and their loved ones. Open Arms began as a single act of kindness in 1986 when founder Bill Rowe began cooking food in his apartment and delivering it to a handful of neighbors living with AIDS who had become too sick to cook for themselves. More than three decades later, Open Arms has expanded its operations considerably, delivering more than 1 million meals annually to neighbors living with a wide variety of life-threatening illnesses. They now employ registered dietitians and in-house chefs to create delicious, medically tailored menus using fresh and organic ingredients whenever possible.
An ever-widening family of volunteers is at the heart of Open Arms. The organization’s more than 3,500 annual volunteers harvest, prepare, and deliver nutritious, made-from-scratch meals directly to Open Arms clients. Volunteers are also critical to the success of the organization’s many innovative fundraising efforts including crowdfunding events like the Turkey Drive and Cook-A-Thon as well as Moveable Feast, Open Arms’ creative twist on the standard gala.
Earlier this year, Open Arms delivered its 10-millionth meal and announced plans to open a second kitchen in St. Paul, enabling the organization to open their arms wider by serving more neighbors with medically tailored meals and nutrition services. With this award, we celebrate the unique spirit of philanthropy and volunteer service that has fueled Open Arms since its founding.
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