“Our meals are a daily reminder that you are not alone in your journey.” This is one of the slogans for the nonprofit organization, Open Arms of Minnesota.
This organization provides nutritious organic meals to Minnesotans living with HIV/AIDS, MS, ALS, breast cancer and more than 60 other diseases. Open Arms works with another nonprofit, Open Farms, to accomplish this goal. Open Farms has a 3.2-acre field in Bell Plaine, Minn., that produces more than 30,000 pounds of vegetables a year for the kitchens at Open Arms.
Four Minnesota School of Business-Shakopee students in Jay Moore’s Global Citizenship class decided to help Open Arms/Open Farms by volunteering for an entire day in the Belle Plaine fields. Angela Courtney, Toni Coleman, Jennifer Pavlovska, and Nicholas Philipp spent their day weeding the spinach, kale, basil, pumpkin, and watermelon beds. They also moved straw and mulch to the compost heap and hauled chicken wire, metal hoops, and stakes from the field to the barn.
These four students “identified the social issue and community need of hunger and proper nutrition,” said Jay. “They explored the responsibilities of a global citizen by helping to feed sick individuals.”
He also pointed out, “This project helped the community partner because usually there are not enough volunteers to harvest the veggies, and some are therefore wasted.”
The students were also very proud of what they accomplished for their applied learning project. They said, “Participation in the project taught us to be active citizens and be socially responsible.”
And to sum up the day’s work, they said it was great to work with “the Service Partner Coordinators and other volunteers to divide and conquer the weeds!”