Why aren't we using 'para' here? This sounds to me like, "We need to pay the food"
I've seen it the way they have it, but in any case it would be 'por' not 'para'.
I always thought "Para" meant "in order to" "to achieve the ends of" while "Por" means "via" "by way of". ex: Salimos por la ventana para escaparnos del fuego. The main dilemma here is how this applies to DL's sentence: "the food" is an indirect object? -We need to pay (money)(Dir. Ob.) for the food (Ind. Ob.).- in my head, by this, i reason Para is correct.
Para is incorrect. You just need to say pagar to mean pay for, but if you want to use a preposition use "por".
Is it more common to say "pagar por la comida" or "pagar la comida" in typical conversation?