Take Root Cafe in Kirksville lets visitors pay what they can for locally produced fresh food.

The cafe’s mission is to “alleviate hunger and promote health by offering nourishing, high quality, local food on a pay-what-you-can basis” while valuing the community and planet, according to its website.

Menu items at the Take Root Cafe are assigned suggested donation values based on what the staff believes the items are worth. Visitors have the option to donate the suggested value for their meal or ask to volunteer for meal tokens.

Volunteering for 30 minutes to two hours earns one meal token with an $8 value. Volunteering for more than two hours earns two meal tokens worth $16 total. A vegetable bowl is available at no suggested value for people unable to pay or volunteer.

Items on the menu change, but there is a variety of entrees, soups, salads, sandwiches and vegetables. Pork schnitzel and beef bratwurst have been recent entrees.

Customers may purchase drinks and desserts that have set prices and are not included in the pay-what-you can structure.

Daily specials are also available. The cafe’s website notes that it supports and promotes local farms by paying market price for ingredients.

The cafe also accepts donations of fresh ingredients and gently used kitchen and dining supplies.

Take Root Cafe holds yoga classes and live music to build a community atmosphere.

Private rooms are available for rental or free use by non-profit or community groups that are low-cost, open to the public and beneficial to the community.

Take Root Cafe is one of nearly 40 restaurants affiliated with the nonprofit organization One World Everybody Eats, which promotes pay-what-you-can nonprofit restaurants.

Thelma’s Kitchen in Kansas City is also a member of One World Everybody Eats.

  • Community reporter, spring 2020 Studying magazine writing. Reach me at cmw2h2@missouri.edu, or in the newsroom at 882-5720.

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