Meghan Markle gives support to food delivery service run by Grenfell survivors

Rebecca Taylor
·Royal Correspondent
·4-min read

Meghan Markle has spoken to female survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire as they repurpose their community kitchen to deliver food during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Duchess of Sussex has been a supporter of the Hubb Community Project, which is close to the Grenfell site, since she became a royal.

In 2018, she wrote the foreward for their cookbook Together, and visited the project with her husband Prince Harry and her mother Doria Ragland.

Now, she has caught up with some of the women involved, as she volunteers herself in Los Angeles.

An excerpt of a video call with the women has been released as the Hubb kitchen starts a food delivery service.

In the call, the duchess, 38, said: “You all had it in you and what was so great is after that first day and then however many visits later, and going ‘yeah we’re just going to make a book’, and not realising, knowing and having a lot of faith in what you guys could bring to the table, and what you could inspire but obviously not knowing what a huge success it was going to be.

“That is just a testament to you, and what I love is it’s just inspired so many people.”

Read more: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle 'volunteer to deliver meals' in LA

Britain's Meghan, Duchess of Sussex talks to chef Clare Smyth as she visits the Hubb Community Kitchen to see how funds raised by the 'Together: Our Community' cookbook are making a difference at Al Manaar, in London, Britain, November 21, 2018. Chris Jackson/Pool via REUTERS
Meghan with Hubb Community Kitchen members in 2018. (Reuters)

Meghan has backed a campaign launched by the Evening Standard called Food for London Now, which launches on Monday, as the Hubb will start preparing between 250 and 350 meals a day, three days a week.

The Standard’s charity partner The Felix Project will provide much of the produce, as it sources surplus food from other outlets.

The meals will be cooked in people’s homes and delivered with StreetGames, the charity delivering meals to children who usually have a free meal at school.

Meghan added: “The spirit of the Hubb Community Kitchen has always been one of caring, giving back and helping those in need, initially in Grenfell and now throughout the UK.

“A home-cooked meal from one neighbour to another, when they need it most, is what community is all about.”

Britain's Meghan, Duchess of Sussex visits the Hubb Community Kitchen to see how funds raised by the 'Together: Our Community' cookbook are making a difference at Al Manaar, in London, Britain on November 21, 2018. Chris Jackson/Pool via REUTERS
The Duchess of Sussex at the Hubb Community Kitchen in 2018. (Reuters)

The video is the first proper glimpse of the duchess since she and her husband Harry moved to Los Angeles as the border between the US and Canada closed.

They have also been lending a hand in their new city, delivering meals with Project Angel Food to seriously ill people across the region.

Project Angel Food’s executive director Richard Ayoub told Press Association the couple wore protective gear and maintained two metre distances from everyone.

Read more: Princess Anne cautions younger royals against 'new ways' – as Harry and Meghan begin new life

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 20: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and her mother, Doria Ragland are greeted by Zahira Ghaswala (L), Hubb community kitchen coordinator, during 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)
She took Harry and her mother Doria to the cookbook launch in September 2018. (Getty Images)

He said: “I gave them a tour of the kitchen, they talked to our chef, they asked them questions about the meal production and how we make medically tailored meals and what kind of clients we have.

“They were really simply lovely and very engaged and inquisitive and curious about the whole process.

“For them to choose Project Angel Food as their first charity, not only in Los Angeles but in the US, is just a huge honour to us.

“These are real deal down-to-earth folks who care about other human beings and want to make a difference.

“It is very obvious to me that they are genuine and they wanted to see the people who are often forgotten in our community and make sure they knew they were not forgotten and they were hoping to put a smile on some faces.

“They did it with no fanfare, they did it with no big entourage – they did it as single individuals doing an act of service.”

Read more: Prince Harry will stop hunting because Meghan doesn't like it, says wildlife expert

The duke called families of sick children who are supported by WellChild
The duke called families of sick children who are supported by WellChild

Latest coronavirus news, updates and advice

Live: Follow all the latest updates from the UK and around the world

Fact-checker: The number of COVID-19 cases in your local area

6 charts and maps that explain how coronavirus is spreading

Earlier this week WellChild released a video of their families in conversation with Prince Harry, who has been a patron for the charity for about 10 years.

He caught up with how the families are coping with isolation, while revealing he was finding it “tough” just dealing with one 11-month-old son.

He also called on the UK government to do more to recognise the families as vulnerable.

Harry and Meghan have bene forced to delay the launch of their new charitable organisation because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

However they have filed paperwork for it and confirmed it would be called Archewell.

The couple said they wanted to find their place in the pandemic response and urged their fans and followers to look after themselves and each other.