Democracy is not a spectator sport. Marian Wright Edelman

As the volunteer approached a line of cars, she was awe struck at the number of families waiting for groceries from Feeding Tampa Bay.

“Are you registered to vote?” she said.

“I am. But I’ve been encouraging my daughter to be sure she gets registered.” The mom and her adult daughter sat in the front of a blue SUV, and a toddler sat in her car seat in the back.

“Here’s a QR code you can scan, and you can register while you wait. It’s so important that we all have a plan to vote, and the deadline is October 5 to register.”

“I didn’t know there was a deadline; thank you. I’ll register right now,” and she pulled out her mobile phone and started typing.

Since the start of COVID-19, we’ve learned that 70% of the neighbors who have come to Feeding Tampa Bay for food assistance have never needed our help before. As the leader in hunger relief in our 10-county area, we touch the lives of more than 1M neighbors struggling with hunger, more than double what it was at the start of the pandemic.

In partnership with the League of Women Voters, a group of volunteers has been alongside our distributions ensuring that our neighbors have access to the information and resources to register to vote by the deadline of October 5.

The League volunteers have been received with enthusiasm by our neighbors, many exclaiming, “yes, I have a plan to vote,” and even showing their ballot and asking about the mail-in deadlines and instructions.

Feeding Tampa Bay’s role in our community is not only to connect the individuals and families we serve with healthy food, but also to provide the resources and tools that empower and strengthen household capability. We believe strongly in the right to exercise your voice and your vote, so much so that Election Day is a paid holiday for our team members.

True change in our communities and our society comes when we all use our voice.

Voting is an issue of equity. Every vote counts. Every voice matters.

Your vote counts in the fight against hunger for over 1 million neighbors!

Your vote counts:
• In the strength of SNAP food assistance.
• To ensure children are fed in our school meal and after-school programs.
• In the priorities of our elected leaders and the investments they make in education, housing and healthcare.
• To end social injustice, systemic racism and other root causes of hunger.

Your vote counts to end hunger. Don’t miss the deadline to register!

For more information on registration, visit

Mandy Cloninger, Chief Impact Officer