IHG worked with corporate partner Mastercard to give back to those who looked after their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic

Since the coronavirus was declared a global pandemic early in 2020, we’ve relied on doctors, nurses, grocery store clerks, nonprofit workers and other essential workers more than ever. They’ve kept the communities healthy, fed, sheltered and safe whilst having to take additional precautions to look after their own wellbeing. As a company committed to True Hospitality, IHG Hotels & Resorts has spent the last few months recognising and celebrating these people to say “Thank You” for their work.

Catherine Dolton, Vice President, Corporate Responsibility, IHG Hotels & Resorts, said: “We issued a call for nominations of workers who went above and beyond to support their communities, vulnerable populations and colleagues, and the response we received was overwhelming. We’re honoured to recognise these workers and thank them by providing complimentary stays at our hotels and exclusive experiences, as well as IHG Rewards Club, points to use toward future stays for the rest, relaxation and recovery they so richly deserve.”

To bring one of the experiences to life, IHG partnered with Mastercard to provide a “Priceless Experience at Home” with Chef JJ Johnson, Mastercard ambassador and James Beard-winning founder of the acclaimed FIELDTRIP restaurant in Harlem.

Chef JJ led an exclusive virtual cooking class for healthcare professionals and workers from nonprofits, such as St. Mungo’s, Barnardo’s and Good360, in which participants created one of his signature dishes. Throughout the pandemic, Chef JJ Johnson donated rice bowls to New York City hospital workers and forged relationships with nonprofit organisations to develop programmes like FIELDTRIP’s Buy-a-bowl initiative, which served over 100,000 meals.

Chef JJ Johnson, founder, FIELDTRIP, commented: “It was a treat to be able to lead the class on behalf of Mastercard for these people who have sacrificed so much of their personal lives over the past few months. To me, cooking is all about community, and the essential workers I met during the class have inspired me with their stories of coming together to help their communities get through these tough times.”

Over recent months, the company has also uncovered incredible stories across the globe of people who have given back to their communities and have sought to recognise them with relaxing stays at its hotels.

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