“Our team is here in Louisville today to ensure that people who come to vote have food and water while they wait and take home after voting, if necessary,” World Central Kitchen CEO Nate Mook said in a communicated by email to CNN. “We want to do our part to make sure that everyone can exercise their right to vote without unnecessary inconvenience or stress.”
This is not the first time that Andrés’ organization has intensified in chaotic situations. World Central Kitchen has served meals to hurricane survivors, laid-off government workers, and even those trapped aboard cruise ships at the start of the Covid-19 crisis. However, this marks the first time the organization has stepped in during an election, according to Mook.
Kentucky previously delayed its primary due to coronavirus concerns and allowed all voters to request absentee ballots before Tuesday’s vote. However, for those who vote in person, there are fewer polling places and poll workers than usual.
Normally, Kentucky has around 3,700 polling places, according to its Secretary of State. Today, however, Kentuckians have only 170 places to cast their votes, and the state’s two most populous counties, Fayette and Jefferson, have only one in-person polling place each.
The election features a high-profile contest between Democratic establishment favorite Amy McGrath and Charles Booker, a representative of the black state whose candidacy has been fueled by activism rampaging through the country.
Interest in the primaries also skyrocketed after the shooting of Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old black woman who was shot dead when police broke down the door of her apartment earlier this year. Whoever wins this primary will face Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in November.
World Central Kitchen will remain in Kentucky to feed hungry voters as the day and the lines advance. “World Central Kitchen was created to use the power of food to heal and strengthen communities,” Mook told CNN.
CNN’s Dan Merica, Eric Bradner and Jeff Zeleny contributed to this report.