World Central Kitchen (WCK), a nonprofit founded and operated by DC-based celebrity chef José Andrés, has started a campaign to encourage going to the polls. Andrés is planning to deploy chefs to voting centers in DC’s Wards 7 and 8, and Prince George’s County soon.
Chefs dispatched by WCK will be delivering free food to people waiting in long lines for hours to cast their votes.
“Chefs for The Polls” has already been launched in Houston, Austin, Dallas, Atlanta, Miami and Milwaukee, where early voting has begun.
WCK said in a statement that it is aiming to support and uplift citizens at a time when they are facing “great, nearly insurmountable challenges” to make their voices heard.
“We can use the power of food to make this election season one of community and of hope,” the group said.
“WCK will provide fresh, nourishing meals to communities on early voting days and on Election Day as part of our #ChefsforThePolls efforts. We’ll be stationed at 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 voting – we will be there.”
WCK's #ChefsForThePolls team is rolling in Scranton, Pennsylvania! Local restaurant Purple Pepper Deli is serving up fresh meals outside City Hall. On the menu? Turkey & Veggie hoagies with apple juice, chips, and a small candy bar. 😋 pic.twitter.com/OjyoJG6NI7
— World Central Kitchen (@WCKitchen) October 23, 2020
“Everyone should be able to participate, and we didn’t want food to be a barrier,” WCK CEO Nate Mook said about the move. “We also wanted to use food as a way to create a sense of community around voting. We’re going to pursue that to ensure no one leaves the polls, leaves their chance to vote, simply because they need to eat.”
To support WCK’s “Chefs for The Polls” initiative with your donation, click here.
The celebrity chef is known for organizing relief efforts and distributing free meals in natural disaster areas through his charity World Central Kitchen (WCK).
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, Andrés temporarily closed all of his restaurants in the region in March and turned some of them into community kitchens (operating as part of WCK) for those in need. WCK provided more than 500,000 free meals since the start of the COVID-19 crisis.
DC Mayor Muriel Bowser selected Andrés along with another restaurateur, Andy Shallal, for a committee that is tasked with planning how to reopen the District of Columbia as it recovers from the coronavirus crisis.
Andrés’ team traveled to Japan in February to provide food to the people who were quarantined aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship due to the virus-related disease.
In September 2019, the Spanish-American chef provided more than 100,000 free meals for Bahamians, who survived the Hurricane Dorian, as well as residents of the Carolinas and Florida.
He also opened a kitchen in DC to serve cooked meals free of charge for federal workers and their families during the government shutdown in January 2019.
In January, Andrés helped victims of two earthquakes that shook Puerto Rico.