Harry and Meghan announce first charitable project after royal life

Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, arrive for the annual Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey in London, Britain March 9, 2020. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
Harry and Meghan, here at their last senior royal event in 2020, are now confirming charity plans. (Henry Nicholls/Reuters)

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will fund four new community relief centres as their first project through the Archewell charitable foundation, they have confirmed.

The royal couple will work with World Central Kitchen to build four centres in places around the world which are disproportionately impacted by “food system challenges”.

WCK is run by Chef José Andrés, and sets up kitchens in the wake of disasters to provide food to those affected.

Having worked across six continents, providing more than 50 million meals, WCK has been part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic in America.

Archewell has committed to funding four permanent community relief centres, which can be used to provide food in the wake of disaster, and to be community hubs, schools and clinics, as and when necessary.

The first will be in Dominica, which has faced two hurricanes in 2017, and the second in Puerto Rico, where Andres coordinated food response after Hurricane Maria.

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 20: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex (3L) helps to prepare food at an event to mark the launch of a cookbook with recipes from a group of women affected by the Grenfell Tower fire at Kensington Palace on September 20, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Ben Stansall - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex preparing food at an event to mark the launch of a cookbook with recipes from a group of women affected by the Grenfell Tower fire in 2018. (Ben Stansall – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

The other two locations will be announced at a later date, with the royal couple working with the chef to bring on new partners.

In a statement, Harry and Meghan said: “The health of our communities depends on our ability to connect to our shared humanity.

“When we think about Chef Andrés and his incredible team at World Central Kitchen, we’re reminded that even during a year of unimaginable hardship, there are so many amazing people willing – and working tirelessly – to support each other. World Central Kitchen inspires us through compassion in action.”

The duke and duchess have previously worked with similar initiatives. Meghan’s first solo royal project was a cookbook created with the Hubb community kitchen at Grenfell, to support those affected by the fire in 2017.

Harry and Meghan tried their hands at croissants. (Duke and Duchess of Sussex)
Harry and Meghan tried their hands at croissants while volunteering at Homeboy Industries in June. (Duke and Duchess of Sussex)

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She also helped in soup kitchens in the US as a teenager.

Harry worked in Nepal with Team Rubicon after the earthquake there in 2015.

When Harry, 36, and Meghan, 39, were first in California in the spring of 2020, they were spotted helping make food deliveries to people who needed to stay inside because they were at higher risk if they contracted coronavirus.

They also spent time helping a team at Homeboy Industries, a bakery and cafe which works with former gang members and ex-prisoners.

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 17: Celebrated Chef Jose Andres talks to journalists about why he is converting Zaytinya into a grab-and-go meal restaurant in response to the novel coronavirus March 17, 2020 in Washington, DC. Andres, whose World Central Kitchen has set up disaster response kitchens to feed people in Puerto Rico, Indonesia, Mozambique, Guatemala and other countries, will convert all his Washington, DC restaurants into 'community kitchens' in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Chef Jose Andres as he converted Zaytinya into a grab-and-go meal restaurant in response to coronavirus in March 2020 in Washington, DC. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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Following the announcement of the partnership, Andrés said: “This year, I’ve seen many, many examples of neighbours supporting neighbours, of communities coming together to get through tough times. At our root, we believe in one another, in doing what’s right for strangers as much as we do for our friends and family.

“World Central Kitchen and I, we see a world that’s full of dignity, empathy, and humanity. We believe in the healing power of food, and we like to say wherever there’s a fight so hungry people may eat, we will be there.

“We are more energised than ever to continue this vital work, and we’re proud that it will be hand in hand with Archewell Foundation and The Duke and Duchess of Sussex. I have come to know both of them well, and believe that their values are directly aligned with what we stand for at World Central Kitchen.”

Archewell as a non-profit is going through trademark processes in the US.

The duke and duchess also confirmed last week that they will use the name for their production company through which they will make their podcasts for Spotify.

The couple stepped back from senior royal duties in March and have since signed deals with Spotify and Netflix as they carve out their new life.

Watch: Harry and Meghan release Spotify trailer for podcasts

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