Soup Kitchen Serves Meals Restaurant-Style so Those in Need Can Dine With Dignity

At Kansas City Community Kitchen, those in need can dine with dignity.

— -- At a soup kitchen in Kansas, you won't find those in need standing in long line for a hot meal. Instead, they're welcomed by a hostess and seated at a table where a waiter takes their order.

After renovating last month, Kansas City Community Kitchen's President Beau Heyen told ABC News, "I felt pushed to do something more." So he re-opened the space restaurant-style.

"It was really about dignity and respect and looking at how we serve. Instead of using the lines, we thought of other ways to be seated," he explained.

The kitchen is the largest program run by Episcopal Community Services, a non-profit focused on fighting hunger in the Greater Kansas City area. It serves lunch to approximately 150 to 300 people Monday through Friday, according to Heyen.

Along with providing a restaurant-style experience, Heyen hired new staffers to revamp the menu, which he called "a joint-effort" to allow those in need to "have choice depending on the donated product."

"We've been able to take the food up to the next level," he said.

The food supplied to Kansas City Community Kitchen comes from their local food bank, corporate partners, restaurants, grocery stores, and even bakeries.

Heyen said the response from the community has been positive after initially getting a bit of push back.

"When we first spoke about this concept, there was a weird question of 'Why? What we've been doing is good enough.' To me 'good enough' is a dangerous phrase," he told ABC News. "Now, our guests have been ecstatic. ... We had a dad write us a note who had being here with his three kids. He said, 'I never get to take my kids to a restaurant and it was wonderful to go some place that felt real.'"

Currently, Kansas City Community Kitchen only serves lunch for three hours, however they're looking to add breakfast service later this spring.