Open Arms has busy week at mn state capitol
Advocating For Our Clients
On Thursday, March 9, Open Arms CEO Leah Hebert Welles joined Trellis President/CEO Dawn Simonson and Lutheran Social Services AVP Roxanne Jenkins to testify in support of House File 2523 to support increased funding for the Minnesota Senior Nutrition Program. The program has not received increased funding in 20 years despite a growing need for nutritious meals and costs skyrocketing. The Minnesota Association of Area Agencies on Aging and a coalition of senior nutrition organizations lead by Trellis (including Open Arms) are leading an effort to add $20 million ($10 million per year) to the State Senior Nutrition Program to help meet the nutritional needs of older adults. Older adults make up 41 percent of all clients at Open Arms, so it is critical that we support this funding measure at the state legislature.
Food insecurity disproportionately impacts older Minnesotans from lower-income and rural communities who often live in food deserts, have limited English proficiency, and/or lack access to transportation. Open Arms receives critical funding for our medically tailored meals for seniors through funds distributed by Trellis.
You can help us support senior nutrition by contacting your own legislators and asking them to support S.F. 2244 and H.F. 2523 to fund meals for seniors! Go HERE to learn more about the issue and how to contact your legislator. We truly appreciate your support and advocacy efforts. Make your voice heard!
Representing Clients At Hunger Day On The Hill
On Wednesday, March 8, Open Arms Chief External Affairs Officer Lisa Lane joined our Hunger Solutions coalition partners for their annual Hunger Day on the Hill. The coalition heard from Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan about funding to support food insecurity. Lisa and a group of other organizations representing District 65B in St. Paul met with Representative Maria Isa Perez Vega to ask for her continued support for initiatives to decrease food insecurity among Minnesotans. Representative Perez Vega will be touring our St. Paul Kitchen & Campus today! Thank you to all our elected officials who support this meaningful work to end hunger in Minnesota!
On Tuesday, March 14, a group of Open Arms volunteers and staff attended Volunteerism Day at the Minnesota State Capitol, organized by the Minnesota Alliance for Volunteer Advancement. We met with legislators to advocate for a volunteerism bill (HF1811 & SF 1799) designed to bring funds to nonprofits like Open Arms to build and expand effective volunteer engagement across Minnesota. We greatly appreciate MAVA’s partnership and thank them for the ways they support volunteerism through their policy work and trainings!