Open Arms of Minnesota seeks culturally specific recipes
Minnesota Open Arms has been serving free, nutritious meals to seriously ill Minnesotans for 36 years. They work with dietitians and in-house chefs to ensure their menus contain what a person needs to nourish them through their specific diagnoses. With their new project, Culturally specific mealsOpen Arms strives to develop accessible, culturally appropriate, and authentic “medically appropriate meals” to better serve East African, Hmong, and Latinx communities who are disproportionately affected by serious illnesses, including COVID- 19.
Yia Yang, Culturally Specific Meals Project Manager, says, “We will hear customers say they like our meals, but it would be nice to have something more in line with what they normally eat.”
To do this, they are accepting recipe submissions from East African, Hmong or Latinx communities until September 5th. in creating them and being part of the process,” says Laura Strait, Director of Nutrition Services.
Recipes must meet 4 criteria, including being made with easy-to-find ingredients, being flexible to meet medically-adjusted meal specifications, being able to be modified to create large batches, and the Open Arms team must have the ability to run the recipe. If a recipe is selected to appear on the Culturally Specific Meals Project menu and meets the eligibility criteria, bidders may receive $200 per recipe.
“We really wanted to do it right. We’re thinking about things like, culturally, is it more appropriate to make meals family-style or in some sort of different delivery method, whether it’s including raw ingredients or doing some prep by them themselves,” says Strait. “We want to take into account the elements that are culturally important to people, because it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach.”