We all know the stereotype. Startup offices are notorious for providing overflowing candy jars, free lunch buffets, or drinks on tap to help attract employees and show off their workplace culture.
Now, many startups are bringing their snack bars and company lunches out to the public. Through strategic partnerships with local restaurants and organizations, several Southeast companies are feeding hungry voters this election season. And their culinary outreach is part of a growing trend as companies look to improve voter turnout and engagement.
Goodr To The Polls
Getting food to people across a large metro area is a logistical nightmare at any time. That’s especially true when trying to coordinate food dropoffs for people standing in long lines outside of small library branches or high school gymnasiums.
Luckily, food logistics is what Goodr does best.
Pizza To The Polls
While Pizza To The Polls calls the Pacific Northwest home, the nonpartisan organization has put down strong roots in the South ahead of the 2020 election. The initiative partners with Uber Eats and other food delivery businesses by driving their fleet of 262 food trucks to long voting lines.
Trucks will be deployed when someone reports long lines in an area and the Pizza To The Polls team can verify the need. Trucks can be found in Atlanta, Louisville, Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro, Charleston, Nashville, and several cities across Florida.
Georgia 55 Project
Many other companies have signed on to coordinate with national efforts such as #ChefsToThePolls or the local Georgia 55 project. The team behind the June 2020 #ProtestPizzaATL campaign is back to make sure November voters in Atlanta are well fed — and have live musical entertainment — while waiting in polling lines.
Eater Atlanta has a full list of Atlanta restaurants providing food to voters this November.
Less Delicious…But Just As Important…Tech Initiatives
While keeping voters fed and happy on Election Day is important, many local companies have pledged to provide even more Election Day resources to both their employees and the wider community.
Changing PTO policies to help employees vote has been one of the big trends of 2020. Several companies, including Atlanta-based CallRail, signed the national ‘Time To Vote‘ pledge, a nonpartisan effort to improve voter turnout by encouraging company’s to provide voting options.
Other startups have made Election Day a company holiday and encouraged employees to use the day to volunteer as a poll worker.
Others, like Mailchimp, enlisted their engineers to build a user-friendly website for finding early voting locations.
DemocracyTech Grows in the Southeast
While fintech and biotech companies still make up the bulk of the Southeast’s startup community, a growing number of founders are looking at how their technology backgrounds can improve civic engagement. Since its founding, Atlanta-based EMPOWRD has worked to unite elected officials, individual citizens, and advocacy organizations in order to make it easier to mobilize and track key local issues.
Voters can download the app and customize their feed with local elected representatives.
For still undecided voters, Branch.Vote, powered by Georgia Tech and UNC grads, has a website dedicated to helping Atlanta voters read about and compare candidates and ballot initiatives.