Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) has come together with Scholars of Sustenance (SOS), the food rescue foundation, to host the first mutual “Rescue Kitchen” in Bangkok – an important CSR event designed to feed underprivileged people in Bangkok, including families affected by the COVID crisis.
Eight Marriott International hotels in the Thai capital – Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park, JW Marriott Hotel Bangkok, Renaissance Bangkok Ratchaprasong Hotel, The Athenee Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Bangkok, The Westin Grande Sukhumvit, Bangkok, Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel & Towers, The St. Regis Bangkok, and W Bangkok – currently work or have previously cooperated with SOS Thailand, taking surplus food from their kitchens and restaurants and donating it to those in need.
Since the onset of COVID-19 however, many more people have lost their only source of income, plunging them into poverty. To support them, Marriott and SOS Thailand have now expanded their relationship with the addition of two more hotels: Le Méridien Bangkok and Bangkok Marriott Hotel The Surawongse. The general managers of all 10 participating properties today teamed up to cook delicious dishes and distribute them to local residents.
The mutual “Rescue Kitchen” took place on 22nd February at Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park, with the aim of providing meals for the Ma-chim Community, which comprises 575 households with over 1,000 people in the Wattana district of Bangkok. Many are street vendors, and it is believed that up to 300 local people could have been left without work due to the impact of COVID-19, and now rely on government aid. Some residents already receive food donations from Marriott’s hotels via SOS Thailand, and this latest initiative will manage these supplies and distribute them those people in society most in need of help.
“It gives us great pleasure to expand our partnership with SOS Thailand, enabling us to support even more families who have been hit by the COVID crisis. This cooperation is a win-win scenario, as it helps to combat the critical issue of food waste, while also generating direct benefits for the community. Our mutual Rescue Kitchen is part of our continuous effort to support the community in Thailand,” said Mr. Jakob Helgen, Area Vice President – Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia & Myanmar, Marriott International.
The Rescue Kitchen initiative forms part of Marriott International’s sustainability and social impact platform, “Serve 360: Doing Good in Every Direction”, which guides the company’s commitment to make a positive and sustainable impact wherever it does business, in support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This includes bringing the benefits of “Good Travel” to its guests, associates and communities in Asia Pacific.
“We are truly proud to have such an amazing partnership with Marriott International, who have been supporting us since we started. This new step they are taking, to cook and serve nutritious meals using surplus food, will create a much bigger impact on society. It is a clear testament to their dedication to their sustainability & impact platform. It started in Phuket last year, now the GMs of these Bangkok hotels are following. Amazing people, amazing partners!” said James Leyson, Managing Director of Scholars of Sustenance Foundation.
In partnership with SOS Thailand, Marriott regularly diverts excess food from its hotel kitchens and restaurants to those in need. Since it was founded in 2016, SOS Thailand has served more than seven million meals to people in Bangkok, Phuket and Hua Hin. This has saved almost 1.68 million kilograms worth of surplus food from going into landfill sites, saving 3,188 tons of CO2 and thus contributing to the global fight against climate change.