A soup kitchen disguised as a restaurant is making a big difference in Kansas City.



Say goodbye to trays, buffets, and waiting in lines to eat at a regular old soup kitchen.

When you step inside the Kansas City Community Kitchen today, a greeter shows you to a table. Volunteer waitstaff takes your order after you’ve had time to look at the menu and see what the culinary team has been cookin’ up. The options are healthier and quite creative, like an episode of Food Network’s “Chopped,” but with the ingredients available to the kitchen that day.


Diners are encouraged to leave reviews of their service and requests for what they’d like to see on the menu. Have health, dietary, or religious-observance needs? No sweat.


“We are trying to flip the photo of what a soup kitchen looks like,” Mandy Caruso-Yahne, director of community engagement at Episcopal Community Services (ECS), told Upworthy. 

But feeding those in need isn’t the only way the kitchen is helping. They’re training others too.


Through the program, students work their way up to cooking in the kitchen and providing suggestions for the menu and dishes they prepare. They develop knowledge and confidence in a variety of ways that help them continue down a path in the food industry once they’re finished with the program.

As one diner named Brian put it, 

“They’re treating me good, like they don’t know I’m homeless.”

And that’s exactly the point.

This is really wonderful

A soup kitchen disguised as a restaurant is making a big difference in Kansas City.

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