Meghan Markle donates £10,000 to Nottingham charity after cookbook success

NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 01:  Meghan Markle arrives at the Terrance Higgins Trust World AIDS Day charity fair at Nottingham Contemporary on December 1, 2017 in Nottingham, England. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced their engagement on Monday 27th November 2017 and will marry at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle in May 2018.  (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
Meghan Markle in December 2017 in Nottingham, after announcing her engagement to Harry. (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Meghan Markle has donated £10,000 to a charity in Nottingham, following the success of a cookbook she helped publish while in the UK as a senior royal.

Meghan wrote the foreword for Together, the cookbook by survivors of the Grenfell fire tragedy, and has now donated money from the sales of the book to Himmah, a charity which runs a food bank and works to tackle poverty.

The Duchess of Sussex's donation will go towards stocking the food bank and buying equipment for the Salaam Shalom Kitchen, the only Jewish and Muslim kitchen of its kind in the UK.

Meghan is said to have decided to donate the money to Himmah to "continue transforming lives through the power of cooking and food".

The donation came as a surprise to Himmah, whose director admitted they didn't believe the call when it first came in.

Sajid Mohammed said: "For ages I thought the whole thing was a hoax!

"They kept emailing me and ringing me about the donation saying it was from the Duchess of Sussex and I just couldn't believe it - I was utterly gobsmacked and hugely humbled that Meghan knew about our charity and wanted to support us.

"It's an absolutely incredible sum and we're so very grateful."

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex visits the Hubb Community Kitchen in London on November 21, 2018 to celebrate the success of their cookbook. - The kitchen was set up by women affected by the Grenfell tower fire and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex wrote a foreword to the cookbook to help raise funds for the victims. (Photo by Chris Jackson / POOL / AFP) (Photo by CHRIS JACKSON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex visiting the Hubb Community Kitchen in London in November 2018 to celebrate the success of their cookbook. (Chris Jackson/AFP)

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Karen Worth, co-chair and trustee of Salaam Shalom Kitchen, said: "We are so delighted and pleased that Salaam Shalom Kitchen has been noticed and chosen by the Duchess of Sussex.

"The money given to us by her foundation will help to continue our important work in Hyson Green area of Nottingham, which is one the most deprived areas of the city."

Himmah describes itself as a "grass roots community-based initiative [to] tackle poverty, racism and social exclusion".

It says it does this by "service provision, campaigning, arts and education work".

The Salaam Shalom Kitchen provides meals for 50-70 people every Wednesday evening, for those who may be lonely or in food poverty, as well as the homeless, refugees and asylum seekers.

Worth added: "We are a joint small local Jewish and Muslim run charity, working to break down perceived barriers between people and creating cohesion.

"We have a large number of varied volunteers, who help prepare and cook food in the Nottingham Liberal Synagogue and then hand it out outside the Bridge Centre."

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Meghan worked with the Hubb community at Grenfell in 2018, helping them to release the cookbook to raise money for their kitchen, which was providing food for those in need.

She does not appear to have had a previous link with Himmah, but she and Harry did go to Nottingham soon after their engagement on a royal visit.

The donation came via the Royal Foundation, which at the time represented the Duke and Duchess of Sussex as well as Prince William and Kate.

It now just covers the work of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, after the two couples split their joint household.

The donation was made last summer but has been made public by the charity this week.

Harry and Meghan now live in California, where the prince has secured a job as a chief impact officer for Silicon Valley's BetterUp, a mental health and professional coaching firm.

They are setting up Archewell, their new non-profit organisation, which will represent future charitable work.

Watch: Prince Harry joins BetterUp as Chief Impact Officer