We’ve written about José Andrés before. The world-famous Spanish celebrity chef is one of the people responsible for making the words “molecular gastronomy” roll around our brains for the past 20 years, and he’s also an outspoken critic of Donald Trump, having withdrawn his restaurants from Trump hotels after the latter said disparaging things about immigrants during his presidential campaign. But Andrés’ best contribution to the food world might be World Central Kitchen, a nonprofit dedicated to providing meals after natural disasters. Now in its tenth year, the organization has provided relief to a dozen countries, and it arose as a leader in organizing aid to the victims of Hurricane Maria in 2017. More recently, COVID-19 has been the ongoing natural disaster to which WCK has responded. Remember those stranded cruise ships off the coast of California back in March? WCK fed the passengers and crew until the ships were able to dock.
Now, WCK is spearheading another initiative: Chefs For The Polls, which aims to feed those at polling stations on early voting days and on Election Day—a free meal for anyone who might want or need it. Here’s how the official website describes it:
People often cast their vote before work, during their lunch break, or after work — all prime meal times. We also know that while long lines are an inconvenience for some, for many they can mean the difference between voting and not voting. For these reasons, World Central Kitchen and its partners are activating Chefs For The Polls to serve nourishing meals on early voting days and Election Day. We’ll be stationed by polling locations around the country, targeting those with historically long lines, predicted massive turnouts, or limited facilities, sharing meals with anyone – no questions asked. If we can help alleviate the challenges of Election Day, we will be there.
Chefs For The Polls is a non-partisan effort that will feed people of all political parties and beliefs. Meals are not offered as an incentive or reward for voting; rather, meals will be available at polling sites for anyone who is hungry.
This is an innovative way for a disaster relief organization to pivot and address the current political landscape. Not only is Chefs For The Polls looking to partner with local businesses, but individuals can also sign up for updates on how to get involved leading up to Election Day. (Donations are also being accepted here.) If you know any other great organizations doing important work right now, let us know in the comments.