History Of Open Hands
  • 1997-1999 - Bethlehem Lutheran Church offered after school tutoring and summer day camps.

  • 2003 - Members of Bethlehem Lutheran Church prayed for a vision of how they could reach out to the neighborhood in which the church was located.

  • 2003 - The first Christmas party for children was held with the help of members from St. Luke Lutheran in Cottage Grove.

  • 2004 - The first Lawn Parties were held in June and August.

  • 2005 - Street Ministry had it's official beginning.

  • 2006 - It was decided that a meal would be served twice per month and by May a meal was being served every Monday. The name of Koinania was adopted for the organization.

  • 2007 - In January the Mission Statement of "Serving the Midway with open hands" was drafted.

  • 2008 - A partnership was established with YouthWorks in order to serve an additional weekly meal. Twice per month on Monday, beginning in June, a meal was served from the Jesus Delivers truck.

  • 2009 - On May 19, 2009, Open Hands became our name and the organization was incorporated as an official 501(c)(3) nonprofit. We began offering an emergency food shelf. In October, Kids' Club began once a month during the school year.

  • 2010 - Kids' Club expanded to four days a week in the summer being staffed by YouthWorks.

  • 2016 - In March our new mission statement, which is found at the top of each page on our website, was drafted.

  • 2018 - In November, Open Hands received the Midway Chamber of Commerce Nonprofit of the month award.

  • 2019 - On April 24, 2019, Open Hands received the L'Etoile du Nord (Star of the North) award from Minnesota United.


In 2018, Open Hands...
  • Served 13,274* meals during weekly programs and community events

    • 11,408* meals were served on Mondays

    • The number of meals served on Wednesdays increased 2.6%

  • Received and distributed 170,072 pounds of food at our meal programs, emergency food shelf and produce distribution program

  • Gave away $31,395** worth of clothing

  • Gave away $10,405** worth of household goods

  • Distributed 2,646 hygiene items and kits

   ...supported by 6,989 volunteer hours

 * Count is taken during each program and event

** Valued at thrift store prices

Foundational Verse

Open Hands Midway began as an outreach ministry of Bethlehem Lutheran Church. At that time a foundational verse was established. The verse is taken from Matthew 25:35-40,

"For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?  When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me."

Today, Open Hands continues to serve those that society frequently forgets - people living in poverty. Staff and volunteers invite guests into an atmosphere of love and acceptance, feeding the hungry and clothing those in need.

Freely we Receive, Freely we Give

You may reach us at the following:


436 Roy Street North

Saint Paul, MN 55104

​Office: ​651-646-6549 x12

Email: info@openhandsmidway.org

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This organization is an equal opportunity provider