Tracy Parks and her husband, opened Take Root Café in Kirksville, Missouri, in late 2016 as a pay-what-you-can spot serving healthy fare that is sourced locally as much as possible. Over the course of a year, Parks says, Take Root works with 12 local farmers, plus regional producers.
"We wanted to have healthy food be accessible to everyone. Adair County is one of the poorest counties in Missouri; 1 in 4 or 5 are food insecure," she says. "[Usually] the cheapest foods possible are highly processed, high fat, high sugar. So we want to make sure people who are on a budget or can't afford food get access to healthy food here."
Set to open this spring, the nonprofit Provision Community Restaurant will join a growing number of pay-what-you-can restaurants that aim to tackle food insecurity and waste.
Wienke, a 15-year veteran of the restaurant industry, began wrestling with these questions as she reflected on what she owed to her community.
In an interview with City Pages, Wienke revealed plans to have Rustica staff come by to host open seminars on different ways to utilize a loaf of bread. Wienke has high hopes for the restaurant, and the good news is that she won't be alone in her fight.
Wienke's already found collaborators in Rustica Bakery and Jester Concepts, a restaurant group which includes hits like Parlour Bar and Borough, who plan to donate both cooking ingredients and teaching hours to the restaurant
With the holidays coming up, lots of locals are getting into the giving spirit. One way to put that to good use is to shop Taste Community Restaurant’s wish list linked on their website. Gifts include everything from kitchen utensils to restaurant essentials.