Hilton and American Express are once again joining forces to extend on a philanthropic initiative the companies announced at the beginning of April to provide one million hotel rooms to frontline medical workers.
Now, the businesses are taking things one step further by donating $1 million from American Express to Chef José Andrés’ World Central Kitchen (WCK) to supply “healthy, freshly prepared meals” to healthcare professionals staying at participating Hilton establishments across the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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World Central Kitchen is an organization founded in 2010 by Chef Andrés and his wife that “creates smart solutions to hunger and poverty” by using “the power of food to heal and strengthen communities through times of crisis and beyond.”
The organization assists communities devastated by disasters with responses to establish “resilient food systems.” Since its origination, WCK has served more than 18 million meals to communities impacted by natural disasters and other crises around the world.
Now, healthcare professionals staying at participating Hilton establishments in association with the free room initiative can now pick up healthy meals that are delivered daily to the hotels, an official press release explains.
The donation to World Central Kitchen as part of this program will allow the organization to pay for the cost of ingredients as well as the wages for restaurant workers who may have laid off due to the pandemic.
Across the United States, restaurants have experienced the unfortunate consequences of the pandemic by having to close completely or only maintain their operations for takeout and delivery services, resulting in a decrease in operations and unwilling reduction of workforce.
In tandem with its initiative to use food to strengthen communities, WCK, in association with American Express and software company Resy, is merging restaurants into its existing structure, meaning that restaurants can hire some of their workforces back to prepare the meals in this new program.
“The donation to World Central Kitchen will provide a fresh meal, delivered daily, to healthcare professionals, while helping to support the restaurants and their employees,” the release continues.