WASHINGTON — The Walton Family Foundation 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 non-partisan initiative led by World Central Kitchen, a non-profit 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, 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 Walton Family Foundation. “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.”
“A fresh meal is more than a plate of food — it’s a sign that someone cares and that there’s hope for the future,” said Nate Mook, World Central Kitchen. “As people across the country get ready to make their voices heard, we are grateful for supporters like the Walton Family Foundation and to be able to work with local chefs to use the power of food to make this election season about community and hope.”
“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. 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,” said Chef Danielle Leoni, of The Breadfruit & Rum Bar.
“Throughout the pandemic our communities and our businesses have been uprooted from everything we’ve all ever known. As a Chef, feeding people is all I really know how to do. My food is personal, it’s meant to make you feel good, especially while our neighbors are standing in line to vote. Being able to serve them something as nourishing and beneficial as sustainable seafood, is a gift not only to those in lines, but to us, and to our suppliers,” said Chef D’Andre Carter, of Soul ‘N’ Smoke.
The #ChefsForThePolls collaboration supports the following communities and sustainable seafood restaurants:
- Phoenix, AZ – Danielle Leoni, The Breadfruit & Rum Bar
- Miami, FL – Franco Stanzione, Stanzione 87
- Atlanta, GA – Kory DePaola, Empire State South
- Chicago, IL – D’Andre Carter, Soul ‘N’ Smoke
- Portland, ME – Nike Watler, Maiz, and Luke’s Lobster
- Charlotte, NC – Thomas Marlow, Mimosa Grill, and Andres Kaifer, Mac’s Speed Shop
- Raleigh, NC – Eli Rodriguez, so·ca
- Milwaukee, WI – Eric Campbell and Brady Maloney, Café Corazón
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 protecting oceans is an urgent concern for American adults with 91% saying this is an urgent issue, including 62% who say it is 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 who 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.
About the Walton Family Foundation:
The Walton Family Foundation is, at its core, a family-led foundation. Three generations of the descendants of our founders, Sam and Helen Walton, and their spouses, work together to lead the foundation and create access to opportunity for people and communities. We work in three areas: improving K-12 education, protecting rivers and oceans and the communities they support, and investing in our home region of Northwest Arkansas and the Arkansas-Mississippi Delta. In 2019, the foundation awarded more than $525 million in grants in support of these initiatives. To learn more, visit waltonfamilyfoundation.org To learn more about the Walton Family Foundation’s ocean conservation work, visit: www.waltonfamilyfoundation.org/our-work/environment/oceans.