Open Arms, a nonprofit that cooks and delivers nutritious meals to people living with life-threatening illnesses, greeted us with open arms.

One of the cruelest aspects of the coronavirus pandemic has been the way it has edged people already living in the margins, closer to those edges, to places where there is little to no safety net. In this year of isolation, where we needed to stay apart to stay safer, the danger was ever-present for those living with long term health concerns.

Open Arms of Minnesota is a charitable organization in Minneapolis that delivers free, healthful meals to people living with life-threatening illnesses. When the pandemic hit in the spring of 2020, people with compromised immune systems were at heightened risk, and any time they left their homes, they were in danger of being exposed to this deadly disease.

During the year, Open Arms saw demand for its meals skyrocket and Roots for the Home Team found another way to contribute to the wider community, by making salads for Open Arms’ clients.

Part of what defines Roots bowls of good are the way these hearty meals of fresh ingredients are so delicious and satisfying. It wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to say that they are even soul-sustaining. In a time when our participants were struck by upended lives: stuck at home, without school, without their usual social interactions, without the opportunity to work the salad stand: each one still strived to do good in the greater world.

Roots participants were able to make salads, from recipes they had created with their chef mentors, and know that these bowls would make it into the hands and stomachs of those at the highest risk during this incredibly trying year.

Fun, friendship and teamwork is part of the game at ROOTS wherever we work.

Our incredible team knows how to stare down adversity, reach deep into their generous hearts, lean on the entrepreneurial training from our curriculum and find ways around, through, and over adversity to new opportunities.

2020 could have been a year of unraveled hope, but not for our team. Roots participants showed up, helped out, and found new ways to operate their business. These are undoubtedly skills that will continue to serve them throughout life’s uncharted paths to brighter futures and success.