NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Serving up hope and good eats at the polls, a new initiative by World Central Kitchen harnesses the power of food to make casting your ballot more enjoyable.

CBS2s Vanessa Murdock reports on Chefs For The Polls.

“Would you like a free chicken sandwich or water while you wait?” asked Leticia Skai Young, founder and co-owner LoLo’s Seafood Shack.

“Absolutely, thank you so much,” a voter named Julie said.

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The offering of free food was accepted while standing in the seemingly endless line to vote at West Side High School on the Upper West Side.

“This is my fourth day coming out here to try and vote,” Julie said.

Serving up hope and good eats at the polls, a new initiative by World Central Kitchen harnesses the power of food to make casting your ballot more enjoyable. (CBS2)

She never expected the gift of good grub at the polls.

“I was not. That was such a sweet, thoughtful gesture,” she said.

In the paper bag she received a jerk chicken wrap courtesy of LoLo’s Seafood Shack in Harlem.

“People are excited to be out here and vote early,” Skai Young said.

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Skai Young is excited, too.

“A fresh meal means that someone cares,” she told Murdock.

Showing up is showing her love for community and her mom, who passed in January.

“She’s the first person who taught me, ‘Hey, you’ve always got to get out and vote, because there was so much sacrifice made for the privilege to vote,” she said.

LoLo’s is one of 32 New York City restaurants, chefs and food trucks participating in #ChefsForThePolls, organized by World Central Kitchen – or WCK for short.

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“The Chefs for the Polls initiative is really about bringing communities together, getting people excited about voting,” said Fiona Donovan, relief operations lead of World Central Kitchen.

WKC fully funds the initiative – paying $7 per meal. It’s a win-win for restaurants still struggling to survive the pandemic.

“We’ve heard from all of our partners that this is helping them keep their doors open,” Donovan said.

And for voters?

“It’s kind of nice to get a little refresher, a little pick-me-up,” said voter Michael Duncan.

No matter your party affiliation, the food is for you.

LoLo’s Seafood Shack plans to be by the poll through Election Day and will likely hand out about 3,000 meals.

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