Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Announce New Archewell Partnership: 'Compassion in Action'
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are bringing on a new partnership for their non-profit, the Archewell foundation.
On Sunday, the couple announced that Archewell would be joining forces with José Andrés and World Central Kitchen, a non-profit dedicated to feeding communities negatively impacted by natural disasters.
Harry and Meghan’s foundation will be helping World Center Kitchen build a series of Community Relief Centers, which "will be activated as service kitchens during and after moments of crisis — such as natural disasters — and then can be used as food distribution hubs, schools, clinics, or safe community gathering spots for families and kids during non-disaster times," a spokesperson for Archewell said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE.
"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," Meghan and Harry said in a joint statement. "World Central Kitchen inspires us through compassion in action."
Bloomberg was the first to report the news.
The first of the four Community Relief Center is currently being built in the Commonwealth country of Dominica, which was hit hard by Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017. It's expected to open in 2021.
Another center will be opened in Puerto Rico, where World Central Kitchen initiated a "massive-scale food security response" after Hurricane Maria. The final two center locations have yet to be announced, but Andrés and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex hope to bring even more Community Relief Centers around the world.
"This year, I’ve seen many, many examples of neighbors supporting neighbors, 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," Andrés said in a statement. "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 energized 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," he added. "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."
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While Meghan and Harry did not reveal how much money they are contributing to the effort, Nate Mook, CEO of World Central Kitchen, estimated to Bloomberg that each location would require an initial investment of at least $50,000.
The couple, who moved to Los Angeles with 1-year-old son Archie in March, first announced their new Archewell foundation in April, shortly after they officially stepped down as senior royals. They finally launched their official website for the organization in October.
The mother of one has been volunteering around the Los Angeles area, especially non-profits focused on feeding others.
In April, Meghan and Harry helped distribute meals for Project Angel Food, a non-profit charity that cooks, prepares and delivers meals to people living with critical illnesses who are at greater risk during the COVID-19 pandemic.
And in June, they visited Homeboy Industries, a community social justice organization working to improve the lives of formerly incarcerated and previously gang-involved people in L.A., and joined the group's participants (called "Homies") working in the café and bakery to prepare food for the #FeedHOPE program, which employs Homeboy participants to provide meals to food-insecure seniors and youth across L.A. amid the ongoing health crisis.
Last Sunday, Meghan honored those who gave back and continue to support others amid the coronavirus pandemic when she made a surprise appearance on the CNN Heroes special, which marked her first public appearance since she revealed that she suffered a miscarriage in a moving account written in the New York Times in November.
"In a year that has been universally challenging for everyone, I'm inspired by the stories of compassion in our communities. Across the country, people have put their own needs aside to come together and support the collective well-being of those around them," said Meghan, who suffered a miscarriage in July.
"Back in March, the COVID-19 crisis hit hard, and overnight everything seemed to change. For many families, the impact of the pandemic has been catastrophic, and far too many were faced with the heartbreaking question: How am I going to put food on the table for my family? But in the face of this devastating reality, we also saw the power of the human spirit and the remarkable ways that communities respond in challenging times. We saw the good in people, in our neighbors and in entire communities coming together to say they would not stand by while our neighbors went hungry," she said.
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