As polling lines snaked around city blocks and stretched through neighborhoods across the country in 2020, a volunteer-led non-profit delivered more than 1.3 million pizzas, burgers, empanadas, donuts, cookies, and other snacks to people at polling sites.
According to Pizza to the Polls, their mission is a simple one: to send snacks to crowded polling locations—and this year they delivered the free food in 48 states paid for by donations totaling a whopping $1.45 million from grassroots supporters eager to cheer up their fellow American voters.
With historic turnout for early voting and COVID-19 safety measures lengthening wait times, the organization delivered pizzas to more than 3,200 polling locations across the country and deployed 262 food trucks to 29 cities through their partnership with Uber Eats and others.
Voters, poll workers, and children accompanying their parents were able to enjoy treats paid for by donations raised from 28,418 donors, with an average donation of $49.23
The program generated some attention and received support from celebrities like Ariana Grande, Lady Gaga, Demi Lovato, and Tracee Ellis Ross.
“Food can be a major mood-shifter for people who have been waiting for hours to vote or who have been volunteering to ensure the process runs smoothly,” Pizza to the Polls co-founder Scott Duncombe said. “We’ve seen people get really excited about our deliveries—and some have even told us that it was the boost they needed to stay in line.”
While no one should need to wait in line for hours to vote, it’s heartwarming to see so many Americans hungry for democracy.