The only thing better than exercising the right to vote is doing it with a delicious vegan meal or snack from the Slutty Vegan and Impossible Foods. That's the thinking behind a new initiative called "Votenik" launched today (a play on the name Freaknik) by the popular vegan eatery, the plant-based food company, and the award-winning producer.

They joined together to kickstart a yearlong campaign to feed people in communities where voter turnout has been traditionally low, in order to make voting that much more of an enticing exercise. They named it after Freaknik--a festival-like local event that brings students out each year--to make voting feel more entertaining, fun and interactive. (What could be more interactive than choosing your leaders?)

The Slutty Vegan is feeding voters, on the heels of signing up voter registration

The event kicks off in Atlanta today, Dupri's hometown, and where Slutty Vegan is located, at Ralph Bunche Middle School on the South West side of Atlanta. The Slutty Vegan food truck will be parked at the school and voting site from 2 to 6 p.m. to offer a complimentary menu item to anyone who comes out to vote. 

Pre-COVID-19 shut-down, Slutty Vegan traveled to 50-cities to promote voter registration,   Customers completed their voter registration forms while waiting on line for their food, which was intended to get more people to vote in the upcoming election.

Making Voting a fun, social, entertaining and interactive event

“This is the next step in making sure that everyone gets out and vote,” said Slutty Vegan owner Pinky Cole. “This is the most productive way to get our voices heard, and we are beyond grateful to be launching this initiative with both Jermaine Dupri and Impossible Foods.”

In Atlanta, voters are choosing between seven primary contenders in the U.S. Senate race to decide who will be the challenger to incumbent David Perdue (R). Ballots also include the delayed Democratic presidential candidate, as well as Congressional primaries, and candidates for the Georgia State House and State Senate races. There are also two elections for the State Supreme Court, along with Sheriffs, County Commissions, Boards of Education Seats, and other local races.

What's the meaning behind the name VOTENIK?

A play on the Freaknik name, which was an annual spring break festival in Atlanta that was primarily attended by students from black colleges and universities, the organizers are looking to make this act of voting an interactive and fun event.

This event is the latest initiative of Cole’s Pinky Cole Foundation. The non-profit organization recently launched a plan that supports the health, safety, and well-being of the Black community during the COVID-19 crisis. Other initiatives have included paying the rent for local small businesses, providing meals to foundations, and launching an Entrepreneurs Anonymous Digital initiative to help those businesses hit hardest by the pandemic.

With the coronavirus still circulating, voters will be offered hand sanitizer as they arrive and will be asked to stand six feet apart. Famed  Hip Hop writer and producer Jermaine Dupri and Pinky Cole will be on site.

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