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Natural Awakenings Twin Cities

Open Arms of MN Needs Volunteers

Open Arms of MN is seeking volunteers for its kitchen, organic garden and food delivery. This non-profit organization cooks and delivers food to people living with HIV/AIDS, cancer, MS or ALS and others who would benefit from assistance with food free of charge.

Volunteers are integral to the work of Open Arms, offering opportunities to cook, bake, deliver and plant and harvest food. “Volunteers love working with us because it’s fun, meaningful, and they can immediately see and feel the impact of their work,” states Leah Hébert Welles, executive director.

Open Arms meals are tasty, convenient and healthy. Professional chefs focus on using fresh ingredients in meals instead of heavily processed food, so recipients can be assured of great nutrition. They even have an urban farm that produces vegetables for their kitchen during the summer and fall.

Open Arms began as a single act of kindness, in 1986, by its founder, Bill Rowe, cooking a meal in his apartment and delivering it to a friend with HIV/AIDS. Nearly three decades later, their operation has grown into a 21,000-square-foot building with a state-of-the-art kitchen that allows them to cook and deliver over 470,000 meals annually, with the help of 2,400 volunteers.

In the intervening years, Open Arms and its stakeholders realized that the need for healthy food was the same, whatever the medical diagnosis. So, they opened their arms a little wider to include people living with cancer, MS, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), and HIV/AIDS, as well as their caregivers and dependents. Open Arms also partners with several non-profit organizations in South Africa to provide food and nutrition to people infected and affected by HIV/AIDS.

Currently, they serve over 800 clients, caregivers and dependent children each week in the greater Twin Cities area.

Location: 2500 Bloomington Ave. S., Minneapolis. For more information, call 612-872-1152 or visit

Read the full June 2020 Magazine