Kansas City eateries prepare for Restaurant Week

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. --  If you're a foodie, listen up, KC's 5th annual Restaurant Week kicks off on this coming Friday. More than 130 restaurants in the metro are offering fan favorites for a special price, and it's all for a good cause.

The kitchen is Julian Viso's playground.

“I wish you could smell it. You can smell the freshness of the sage,” Viso mused

The investment banker turned chef opened Mio,  an Italian Trattoria in Leawood 18 months ago. This is one week he's definitely looking forward to.

“The whole atmosphere in the city changes. There’s a vibe going around. People talking about Restaurant Week,” he said.

Starting this Friday for nine days, more than 130 restaurants in the metro are offering fan favorites for a special price. Multi-course meals are $15 for lunch and $33 for dinner. But Restaurant Week is about more than tempting your taste buds.

“A lot of the families we are serving struggle to both buy groceries and pay for the heat or utilities. We just don't think heat or eat is a decision any family should have to make,” Ellen Feldhausen, Harvesters' Director of Communications, said.

A portion of the proceeds helps local charities, like Harvesters, this area's only food bank. Feldhuasen says more than 40 percent of the people her agency feeds are employed and still have trouble affording food.

“A couple of federal programs, SNAP, and long-term unemployment benefits have been reduced. That's affecting low-income families,” she said.

Restaurant Week has provided 1.8-million meals to date. The community helps support its appetite and those in need at the same time. With so much support, Viso hopes to explore other restaurants, when he isn't cooking for his own.

“Probably will try to get out a couple times, but it will be late,” he speculated.

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