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HandsOn Twin Cities partners with Urban Ventures to help Minneapolis

Volunteers worked on an urban farm with Urban Ventures, a local non-profit that works with people living in poverty in South Minneapolis.

MINNEAPOLIS — Every month here on Sunrise, we are helping celebrate a big anniversary.

HandsOn Twin Cities is 100 years old.

The organization is a volunteer hub that makes it easier for all of us to give back.

To show the positive impact HandsOn TC is making in the community, we're sharing its success stories. 

One such success story is the organization's partnership with Urban Ventures.

Urban Ventures is a local non-profit that works with people living in poverty in South Minneapolis.

HandsOn Twin Cities and Urban Ventures held a volunteerism event on Friday, April 26th. 

In the Phillips community in South Minneapolis, country meets city thanks to Urban Ventures. 

Credit: KARE

"Our purpose is really to address the nutrition gap that exists in this neighborhood." said Mark Peter Lundquist, Urban Ventures vice president of Social Enterprise.

To help meet that purpose, Urban Ventures started an urban farm five years ago. 

RELATED: Urban Ventures celebrating 20 years of community programs

"Fresh organic cauliflower and broccoli and carrots. All this stuff that we grow is here for them," Lundquist said. 

Because usually, organic food is pricey.

"Everybody that comes to our mobile farmers market truck or our food truck they get 50 percent off," Lundquist said. "They just show their card, they're from the neighborhood, and that immediately gets deducted."

And the demand for organic food is great in this area.

Last year, they served 3,000 families.

"This is a pretty big project and there's only three of us that run it," Lundquist said. 

However, there is growth in the program, thanks to volunteers.

Even some corporations are doing their part. 

This time, Blue Cross Blue Shield employees are taking their turn, turning an orchard into additional farmland.

"Food is coming from the work that I'm doing so I'm happy to be here to support my company," Helen Dillon said. Dillon is a volunteer who works at Blue Cross Blue Shield. "I'm glad for the opportunity, during business hours, to be out here."

Volunteers like Dillon are vital to the process. 

"If we didn't have Blue Cross Blue Shield or other volunteers coming out, there's no way we could pull this off," Lundquist said. 

Blue Cross Blue Shield and Urban Ventures found each other through HandsOn Twin Cities.

If you're interested in participating in volunteer opportunities related to health equity, head to the HandsOn Twin Cities website or click here. 

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