From a single act of kindness to nearly 3 million nutritious meals
Open Arms began as a single act of kindness in 1986 — our founder, Bill Rowe, cooking a meal in his apartment and delivering it to a friend with HIV/AIDS. Two decades later, we are celebrating the second anniversary of our move into 2500 Bloomington Avenue, a 21,000-square-foot building with a state-of-the-art kitchen that allows us to cook and deliver meals to more than 800 people each week with the help of 1,900 volunteers.
In the intervening years, Open Arms and its stakeholders have realized that the need for healthy food is the same, whatever the medical diagnosis. So, we’ve opened our arms a little wider to include people living with HIV/AIDS, MS, ALS, breast cancer and more than 60 other diseases, as well as their caregivers and dependents. Open Arms also partners with several non-profit organizations in sub-Saharan Africa to provide food and nutrition to people infected and affected by HIV/AIDS.
In 2010, Open Arms hit a meaningful milestone: Senator Amy Klobuchar delivered our 2 millionth meal. This year, we project our volunteers and staff will prepare and deliver 460,000 meals and celebrate the delivery of our 3 millionth meal. In addition, we will increase the size of our Open Farms garden to three acres, allow us to grow 30,000 pounds of organic veggies for our kitchen, and we’ll further expand satellite delivery, which allows us to reach folks outside the Twin Cities metro.
None of this would have been possible without the generous support of our volunteers and donors, folks like you, who make it possible for us to continue to be innovative in our work and to do it with enthusiasm and responsibility.