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Free Hot Soup lends helping hand to Kansas Citians in need during hot weather

Posted at 8:06 PM, Jul 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-23 23:22:45-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City area officially exceeded 100 degrees Saturday, a mark that highlighted the importance of the work of volunteers making sure those who needed help, received it.

Nonprofit organization Free Hot Soup was out at Washington Square Park making sure the homeless, food insecure, and less fortunate were hydrated and well nourished.

“They’re human at the end of the day, they are human,” Free Hot Soup assistant coordinator Sebastian Styles said Saturday. “It makes an impact when we are able to bring out water and keep them hydrated.”

Andre Murray was one Kansas Citian living on the streets of Kansas City who lined up for a nice meal and a cool drink.

“People need nourishment; People need food; People need water; People need necessities - that’s what they offer us,” Murray said.

Thanks to donations and volunteers, Free Hot Soup is able to keep the homeless, food insecure and less fortunate on their feet during these high temperatures.

“We see third-degree burns from the sun all the time skin cancer,” Styles said. "Body temperatures raise extremely fast the heat stroke is one of the things we try to prevent.”

Shawn Akins also found himself needing further assistance Saturday.

“Under a tree, it’s going to be 20 degrees cooler than out in the open, so if it gets too hot in the sun, I just go underneath the shade,” Akins said. "I know that there is places you can go to cooling centers. Everything from the library to Union Station that’s a nice place to stay cool on the street car on the bus.”

Styles says she's seen first hand how these meals and assistance can mean a lot, especially during extremely hot or frigid temperatures.

“I myself, two-and-a-half years ago was on these streets,” Styles said. “It was tough. I was able to, with the help of these volunteers and these outreach programs, I was able to get back on my feet, to get my own apartment, to now to come out here and show them lead by example.”

Free Hot Soup works five days week, handing out more than nutritious meals, and assessing for medical needs, is working to keep the less fortunate cool.

“We’re used to being inside where we can come in and out of air-conditioning, they don’t have that," Styles said.