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Mike Pence said he plans to be in Kansas City, Missouri, on July 11 to boast about the GOP's tax law that largely benefits the 1%.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

Not so coincidentally, a "sausage fest" was planned to take place in Kansas City the same day — right across the street.

Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images.


Yeah, people are (literally) cooking up some good old-fashioned trolling of the vice president.

Again.

Local radio station 96.5 The Buzz is throwing "The Mike Pence Sausage Fest" and giving away free hot dogs at Barney Allis Plaza — right across the street from the downtown Marriott hotel where Pence is scheduled to speak.

"Pence is no fan of the LGBTQ+ community," the station tweeted on July 9. "And we’re no fan of his."

It's admittedly pretty fun to troll Pence when it comes to LGBTQ issues.

Lots of others have done it.

His neighbor in Colorado hung a "Make America Gay Again" rainbow flag on a pillar near the VP's driveway in January. In March, John Oliver published a kids' book, "A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo," telling the tale of Pence's supposedly gay rabbit (proceeds benefitted an LGBTQ nonprofit).

In January 2017, when then-vice-president-elect Pence was making the leap from Indiana to Washington, LGBTQ advocates threw a "queer dance party" outside his temporary residence near D.C. (I'm not sure what would be more fun: free hot dogs or a #Resistance block party?)  

Laughs aside, though, Pence's egregious history on queer issues is downright scary.

At one point, Pence supported gay conversion therapy — a fact he wholeheartedly disputes to this day despite evidence to the contrary.

As governor, Pence effectively legalized discrimination against LGBTQ patrons in Indiana businesses with his religious freedom law. (Backlash to the draconian legislation was so swift, Pence was forced to carve out an amendment clarifying that the law couldn't be used to target the LGBTQ community.)

In the past, he's fought marriage equality, criticized the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," and slammed the Obama administration for passing guidelines to protect transgender students in school.

For LGBTQ people and their allies, Pence may be the perfect motivation to throw a sausage fest — but he's still nothing short of a nightmare.

Learn more about and support LGBTQ groups — like GLSEN, Lambda Legal, The Human Rights Campaign, GLAAD, The Trevor Project, and others — fighting back against the Trump-Pence administration's attacks on queer people and protecting those who are most vulnerable along the way.

Doesn't this meal look pretty dang tasty?

Here we have a roast leg of lamb, gravy with red currant, pilaf, steamed broccoli, Farm to Market Bread Co. bread, and fresh fruit. All photos by Kansas City Community Kitchen, used with permission.


And how about this one? YUM.

Check out this ras el hanout chicken, couscous, green beans, cucumber salad, and fresh fruit. SO MUCH YUM.

You might be surprised to find out that these beautiful dishes didn't come from a fancy restaurant or even a special at-home dinner.

They're just a couple of typical meals from one of the country's most innovative soup kitchens.

The restaurant-style Kansas City Community Kitchen is a completely new way to feed those in need.

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. Here's an example of a lunch they just prepared during Lent: spiced swai, broccoli cheese casserole, garlic-Parmesan fries with house ketchup, and simple greens salad with tomato-water vinaigrette.

Delicious.

"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.

I'd say they're off to a good start.

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

The ECS Culinary Cornerstones six-month training program gives classroom and hands-on experience to those interested in the culinary industry but who are dealing with barriers that keep them from doing it the traditional way. Besides, school doesn't work for everyone.

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.

It's an awesome way to bring different parts of the community together in one place.

Mandy emphasized that everyone is welcome at their kitchen: college kids, police officers, doctors, students, volunteers. You don't have to be unable to afford food to get a bite to eat or volunteer your time. And with restaurant-quality meals at no cost, how could you resist?

Getting people of all backgrounds to blend together — even for a few hours each day — is such an important way to learn and build trust within the community.

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.