#ChefsForThePolls works with local chefs across the country to serve community members near polling locations.
Election Day is coming up, and The Walton Family Foundation is helping to feed voters.
The organization is working with World Central Kitchen to provide sustainably sourced, fresh meals to voters during the early voting period and on Election Day.
#ChefsForThePolls is a nonpartisan initiative led by World Central Kitchen, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization that uses the power of food to heal and strengthen communities. The initiative works with local chefs across the country to serve community members near polling locations that historically have long lines or predicted massive turnouts, or faced limited facilities.
"If 2020 has taught us anything, it's that we have to be able to focus on more than one important thing at a time. We are partnering with World Central Kitchen to encourage voting and to remind people that one of the easiest ways to keep our oceans healthy is by eating sustainable seafood," said Moira Mcdonald, environment program director for the Bentonville, Arkansas-based Walton Family Foundation, which is led by the descendants of Walmart founder Sam Walton and his wife, Helen. "Restaurants are an important part of the sustainable-seafood supply chain. Supporting chefs and restaurants that serve sustainable seafood is a great way to help our oceans while also supporting local businesses that may be struggling during the pandemic."
The effort could help more than voters.
The #ChefsForThePolls collaboration supports the following communities and sustainable seafood restaurants:
- Phoenix: Danielle Leoni, The Breadfruit & Rum Bar
- Miami: Franco Stanzione, Stanzione 87
- Atlanta: Kory DePaola, Empire State South
- Chicago: D'Andre Carter, Soul 'N' Smoke
- Portland, Maine: Nike Watler, Maiz, and Luke's Lobster
- Charlotte, North Carolina: Thomas Marlow, Mimosa Grill, and Andres Kaifer, Mac's Speed Shop
- Raleigh, North Carolina: Eli Rodriguez, so·ca
- Milwaukee: Eric Campbell and Brady Maloney, Café Corazón
"The pandemic has rippled all the way through the seafood industry, from our fishers and farmers all the way to our front-line restaurant workers, making it really hard on restaurants that serve sustainable seafood,” said Leoni. “This initiative is a great way to help support sustainable seafood while voting -- it's a win-win. I'm excited that it's inspired local partnerships, allowing us to bring sustainable seafood to the polls, thanks to the folks at Arizona Desert Shrimp.”
For decades, the Walton Family Foundation has invested in global, sustainable fisheries, rebuilding fisheries, and expanding access to sustainable seafood. Choosing sustainable seafood is one of the best ways that consumers can protect the ocean. A poll released last week by the Walton Family Foundation showed that protecting oceans is an urgent concern for American adults, with 91% saying this is an urgent issue, including 62% who said that it's very urgent.
In February, the foundation launched the Three Sustainable Steps campaign with the James Beard Foundation to encourage consumers to ask restaurants and retailers for sustainable seafood, communicate their preference for sustainability, and thank restaurants and retailers that have committed to these practices. Since COVID-19 has spread globally, the foundation has focused on supporting the sustainable-seafood supply chain, from hook to plate.