Episcopal Community Services in Kansas City put a spin on your stereotypical soup kitchen and they’re getting quite a bit of attention for it! They changed the way a soup kitchen is normally operated, and set this particular soup kitchen up just like a full service restaurant. To make it better they aren’t just offering food to the people in their community who are in need, they are offering experience. This particular experience comes in the form of culinary training, and they’re getting it first hand at this soup kitchen gone culinary training school.
Today the soup kitchen in Kansas City serves people in need like patrons would be served at a restaurant. They did away with long lines and replaced them with greeters and hostesses. Prior to implementing the new restaurant style soup kitchen, those in need lined up and waited along buffet lines carrying trays until they could serve themselves from the options offered. In the new restaurant style soup kitchen you walk in and get seated like you do at a full service restaurant. After you’re seated, a waitress will give you a menu to pick from that has been filled with that day’s availabilities. Dinners are then served restaurant style, and following their dinner are encouraged to leave opinions and suggestions. What a major change from the soup kitchens of the past!
"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)
The new restaurant style soup kitchen is taking everyone in Kansas City by surprises. In addition to offering meals with healthy options and dietary or religious restrictions, they are managing to offer those who are interested in cooking some actual experience that can be useful in building a culinary career. This is unheard of!
The Episcopal Community Soup Kitchen has come a long way! They are setting a new trend for community kitchens that offers more than just free meals to the needy. This soup kitchen is giving those in need free meals and practical training that can be used as stepping stone in a culinary career. What a way to give someone in need the tools to be successful. Way to go Kansas City, you inspire! I hope to see other soup kitchens follow their lead.