Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are partnering with Chef Jose Andrés' World Central Kitchen to fund four new relief service centers to help the organization deliver on its goal of feeding people in disaster zones.
The couple is making the donation through their Archewell Foundation. The first center will open Domenica, which was battered by Hurricanes Maria and Irma in 2017, sometime next year. The second center will be built in Puerto Rico. Two additional locations have not yet been announced.
“The health of our communities depends on our ability to connect to our shared humanity,” Markle and Prince Harry said in an emailed statement to TODAY Food. “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 couple also plans to work with the organization to "engage additional partners" to build more relief centers around the world, the statement added.
"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," Andrés said in an emailed statement. "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. 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."
World Central Kitchen was founded by the celebrity chef in 2010. In a letter on his website, he said, "our fight to feed hungry people has taken us to more places than we ever expected" during the pandemic.
"In 2020, the world changed profoundly, and our daily lives were overturned in a way none of us could have ever imagined. We activated in communities around the United States and the world to meet the daily needs of families in need of a warm plate of food – and supported thousands of local restaurants in the process," Andrés wrote. "We also responded to natural and manmade disasters in countries on five continents, from massive bushfires in Australia to a deadly explosion in Lebanon to devastating hurricanes in Central America."
It's not the first time Markle has gotten involved in a philanthropic culinary project. After private visits to the Grenfell Tower community kitchen, she launched a cookbook featuring recipes from the families who lived in the tower, where a fire killed 72 people in 2017.
Proceeds from “Together: Our Community Cookbook” went to the kitchen.
“I immediately felt connected to this community kitchen; it is a place for women to laugh, grieve, cry and cook together,” the duchess wrote in the book's foreword. “Melding cultural identities under a shared roof, it creates a space to feel a sense of normalcy – in its simplest form, the universal need to connect, nurture, and commune through food, through crisis or joy – something we can all relate to.”