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Kansas City Community is Dining with Dignity

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Kansas City Community Kitchen

Kansas City Community Kitchen

Picture this… a plate of lamb with currant gravy, pilaf, crusty bread and fresh fruit.

Or, how about… spiced catfish, broccoli cheese casserole, garlic-parmesan fries and a green salad with tomato vinaigrette.

Although it may sound like it, “this ain’t your momma’s home cookin’!”

The Kansas City Community Kitchen, sponsored by Episcopal Community Services (ECS), is serving up new, sizzling ways to allow the community an opportunity to “dine with dignity.” Traditionally, hungry neighbors waited in a buffet line to receive a warm meal. Today, community members are welcomed by friendly greeters, and directed to a table in the newly renovated café that was designed by Jennifer Bertrand, season three champion of HGTV’s “Design Star.” Diners receive a menu that features a number of nutritious entrees, and volunteers, serving as waiters, take meal orders and prepare delicious culinary treats.

This restaurant style model grants the Kansas City residents an opportunity to serve the community. The Kansas City Community Kitchen’s reach is not only far, but also wide! The homeless population, local businesses, fire and police departments and patrons are all welcome to come to the kitchen, engage in thoughtful conversation and enjoy a healthy meal together. Each week, more than 2,500 hot lunches are distributed, that is nearly 130,000 meals per year!

The ECS recognizes that providing a café environment allows visitors to feel valued and appreciated. The ECS credits much of the kitchen’s success to its volunteers!

This is truly a definition of leadership – listening to the suggestions of all parties involved and giving appreciation to those who need it most. Leaders and volunteers are intentional about dishing up the very best quality of food and displaying a great attitude to those who may not always feel like they are worthy.

Ashley Metivier
Activities Coordinator, NASBA Center for the Public Trust (CPT)