Feed the Polls organizing meals for 2020 voters in food-insecure areas

Enter Feed the Polls, a new initiative that aims to give voters free, nutritious meals at polling places on Election Day. Focusing on poorer, food-insecure communities, the group hopes to distribute 50,000 meals on November 3.

“Hunger is nonpartisan. We just want to feed people,” Chris Stang, co-founder and CEO of Zagat and the Infatuation, said to CNN. “We are certainly not trying to tell anyone how to vote — we just want them to vote.”

Zagat and Infatuation co-founder and CEO, Chris Stang
After coming up with the idea, Stang reached out to Nasser Jaber, founder of the Migrant Kitchen, which has delivered food to front-line workers and food-insecure communities across New York City amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Migrant Kitchen

For Jaber, who grew up in Palestinian refugee camps, the issue of food insecurity is extremely personal. “It’s important to me to feed anyone that is hungry,” he said to CNN.

Jaber explained that the pandemic has both exacerbated the food insecurity crisis in the United States and made voting more difficult. For these reasons, he said, Feed the Polls’ meals are centered on health and nutrition. “We’re not trying to give people bologna sandwiches,” he explained. “We give restaurant-quality food. Food with respect.”
Nasser Jaber, founder of The Migrant Kitchen

Feed the Polls is not alone in its quest to encourage voting in nontraditional (and delicious) ways.

Pizza to the Polls, another nonpartisan organization, has sent thousands of pizzas to voters waiting in long lines. This week, the group announced a partnership with Uber Eats to send a fleet of 140 food trucks across the United States to serve poll workers and voters.

In just under a week, Stang said, Feed the Polls has raised more than $14,000 entirely from individual donations through The Infatuation and Zagat’s networks, as well as raising awareness online.

“The most encouraging thing is seeing this grassroots fundraising,” Stang said to CNN. “We want to put some good out into the world whenever possible.”