Dascha Polanco urges potential voters to #FeedtheVote

Dascha Polanco. Photo credit: Nathan Johnson
Dascha Polanco. Photo credit: Nathan Johnson /

Dascha Polanco is partnering with Knorr on their #FeedtheVote campaign aimed at registering voters and spreading awareness about America’s hunger issue.

Election Day (November 3) is quickly approaching, and American citizens who have not registered to vote are being encouraged to do so with awareness to registration deadlines coming up across the U.S. this month. Many issues have been debated between the parties, from the president’s response to the pandemic to social unrest over police brutality, but one topic that has been infrequently on the table is food insecurity. It’s an issue that Dascha Polanco is bringing awareness to through her partnership with Knorr on their #FeedtheVote campaign.

Knorr has worked with Feeding America, The Food Trust, and other partners to provide access to nutritious food and spread awareness about the issue of food insecurity in America since 1979. According to Bentley King, Director of Savory North America at Unilever:

"“Quite simply, no one should go hungry. At Knorr, we believe everyone should have access to affordable and nutritious food. As we strive to make that belief a reality through our products and recipes, we know that food access is a government funding issue — and thus, a voting issue.Working hand in hand with experts in this space like Feeding America, UnidosUS and our partner Dascha, we’re committed to encouraging everyone to register to vote and enabling Americans to impact policy that help their family eat healthier.”"

Polanco took to Instagram, sharing a video like her fellow ambassadors — Tabitha Brown, Sophia Roe, Beverly Coleman, Carolina Contreras and Jessica Nabongo — to focus the topic of voting on hunger in America.

Her empty plate symbolizes “the millions of Americans who will not have food on the table unless elected officials make hunger and food access a priority this November.”

Culturess had the opportunity to speak with Polanco about her partnership with Knorr, the importance of voting, and how Americans can help their fellow citizens.

Polanco’s partnership with Knorr stems from a shared stance on food. She says they believe in “consistent access to nutritious food. It should be available and affordable for all. It isn’t a privilege, and it isn’t a luxury.”

Food insecurity affects 54 million Americans, a fact that has been exacerbated by the pandemic. Millions of people are out of work, making their ability to feed themselves and their families difficult. This is why Polanco says we have to change our thinking around food insecurity and how it is talked about.

She explains, “We have to understand that food is not just an aid issue. It’s a government issue. It’s a voting issue.”

Change happens when we make our voices heard, and for Americans that means showing up at the ballot box. But as Polanco points out, based on the work done by the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC), “Americans who have the least access to nutritious food have the lowest rate of voter registration.”

So, #FeedtheVote is about awareness, but it’s also a call to action. Knorr is providing — through social media and on-site locations across the country — “education, resources, and access to nutritious food to encourage voter registration and advocacy for millions of Americans experiencing food insecurity.”

By going to knorr.com/vote, you can register to vote and check your registration status. Registering to vote, however, is only part of the initiative.

Polanco informed us of how the site works to help users learn more about hunger in America, spread awareness, and affect policy:

"“If you’ve already registered, they have other options for us to help and support, whether it’s the current government food program from the [United States Department of Agriculture] website and then educating yourself on what every candidate should know about hunger on FRAC. If you want to advocate for food security, you go to Feed America. So there’s a lot of information on the website.”"

Food insecurity is an issue close to Polanco because she witnessed her parents struggle to put food on the table, and then she did the same as a young mother. As Polanco says, she worried about “what’s next or providing more nutrition, more food options for my kid, so it’s very dear to my heart not only because I experienced it but because this is an issue about a necessity; [food] is essential.”

Food as a voting priority is also why Knorr has collaborated with UnidosUS to provide 4,000 families with the resources to create nutritious meals. UnidosUS is the largest Latinx civil rights and advocacy organization in the nation. Prospective voters can register to vote at the following UnidosUS affiliated locations:

  • AAMA (The Association for the Advancement of Mexican Americans): 6001 Gulf Freeway, Houston, TX 77023
  • Chicano Federation: 3180 University Avenue, Suite 400, San Diego, CA 92104
  • Colorado Latino Leadership, Advocacy & Research Organization (CLLARO): 12000 East 47th Avenue, Denver, CO 80217
  • El Concilio: 445 N San Joaquin Street, Stockton, CA 95202
  • HOLA Ohio: PO Box 3066, Ashtabula, OH 44005
  • Mexican American Council: 151 NW 11th Street, Suite E400, Homestead, FL 33030
  • Project Vida Health Center: 3607 Rivera, El Paso, TX 79905
  • Promise Arizona: 6437 South Central, Phoenix, AZ 85042
  • Tejano Center for Community Concerns: 2950 Broadway Street, Houston, TX 77017

To help “elevate the connection between hunger, food assistance and voting this election season,” Polanco encourages people to spread the word and take action by posting #FeedtheVote on their social media platforms, linking to knorr.com/vote in their bios, and talking with people about this issue.

In her words: “The only change that we will see is when it’s created. When we realize that this is not just health, it’s not just aid, this is a government issue and in order for us to see [food insecurity] raised, be a concern, and be a priority we have to vote. We have to let our voices be heard.”

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To bring attention to food insecurity to America, you can post your empty plate using #FeedtheVote on social media and start the conversation with your family, friends, and community about the issue.