Prince Harry and wife Meghan Markle have named a high-profile food relief program as the first public project for their new non-profit venture, the Archewell Foundation.
The couple said their young foundation had already started working with celebrity chef Jose Andres and his World Central Kitchen, a project that feeds people in disaster-stricken areas around the world.
The Archewell Foundation will help World Central Kitchen build four community relief centres around the world.
The centres will be permanent structures that can be opened quickly as service kitchens during emergencies such as natural disasters, and also serve as food distribution hubs, schools and medical clinics.
“The health of our communities depends on our ability to connect with our shared humanity,” the former royals said in a statement on Sunday (US time).
“When we think about chef Andres 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.”
The first of four centres is slated to open in 2021 on the Caribbean Island of Dominica, which was hit by two hurricanes in 2017. The second centre will be built in Puerto Rico, which was also hard hit by the storms.
The charity will seek support from other groups to build more such centres around the world.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have not revealed how much mondey they are contributing to the relief centre effort. However, World Central Kitchen chief executive Nate Mook told Bloomberg that – while costs will vary – each set-up would require an initial investment of at least $US50,000 ($65,500) to get up and running.
World Central Kitchen has distributed 50 million meals in 17 countries since it started in 2010.
Harry and Meghan stepped down from their roles as working members of the British royal family at the end of March 2020. They moved to California with their young son Archie, and have largely eschewed the public spotlight except for carefully choreographed appearances.
In November, the Duchess penned an emotional opinion piece for the New York Times in which she revealed she’d suffered a recent miscarriage.
“I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second,” she wrote.