abovegroundpool's most recent merit badge goes to The Common Ground Restaurant in Brattleboro, VT. It's gonna sound crazy to you that we're awarding a restaurant with an activist award, but that's only until you hear that the fresh, organic, vegetarian food at this worker-run spot is free.
That's not a typo.
Common Ground was opened in 1971 with serve-yourself soup and salad for a few cents, displays of original artwork, and performances. It's struggled a few times, set low, flexible prices on food at times, even closed it's doors a couple of times, but mostly it persists, with tasty tempeh dishes and a donation jar. I couldn't believe it when I first heard about it (free? are you sure?), but have made it a regular stop when I'm tooling around the Northeast.
I love Common Ground for reasons similar to why I love Food Not Bombs: They believe there is enough for everyone, that everyone deserves nourishment, and they don't use handing you a plate of food as an excuse to preach. They've made sharing and trust work for 37 years. Bless 'em!
See other merit badge winners here.