In all honesty, I’ve been laughing to myself for like ten solid minutes. The Duchess of Sussex is thousands of miles away and she’s still doing more for England than, you know, that other couple. Meghan was racially abused, harassed, smeared and exiled. And still she rises with a smile and a generosity of spirit. Meghan apparently did a Zoom call with some of the women from the Hubb Community Kitchen last week, and the call is only coming out now. Why now? Because the Evening Standard wanted to package the call together with the news that Meghan is backing the newspaper’s appeal to raise money for vulnerable populations in London during the coronacrisis.
The Duchess of Sussex today backed the Evening Standard’s “moving” appeal to raise funds for the delivery of food to poor, elderly and vulnerable Londoners during the coronavirus epidemic. Meghan’s support for our Food for London Now appeal came as the community kitchen close to Grenfell Tower that she supports unveiled a new meals delivery service for families struggling to feed themselves during the lockdown. The initiative will be launched on Monday when the Hubb Community Kitchen plan to start cooking between 250 and 300 meals a day, three days a week.
It follows a Zoom conference call last week, when the duchess talked to women involved in running the kitchen about how they could adapt their service to feed people at a time when social-distancing rules prevent it from opening as normal. Much of the produce will be supplied by the Standard’s charity partner The Felix Project which sources surplus food from cafés, restaurants and supermarkets.
Meghan said: “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. I’m so proud of the women of the Hubb Community Kitchen, and the continued support The Felix Project gives them to carry out these acts of goodwill, which at this moment are urgently needed. I’m equally moved by the many people who are contributing to the Evening Standard’s campaign to raise money for these vital organisations in the wake of Covid-19.”
The meals will be prepared in the cooks’ homes and delivered by another charity, StreetGames, which runs the Fit And Fed campaign that aims to provide nutritious meals for children at risk of going hungry during the school holidays. Last year, Felix made 48 deliveries to the kitchen, enough for more than 43,000 meals, and this year it has delivered eight times, equivalent to 5,000 meals. Mark Curtin, Felix’s chief executive, said: “The women of Hubb Community Kitchen have stepped up yet again in the face of a global pandemic. We stand together with all of our partners to get food to people most at risk of experiencing hunger and malnutrition in this time of need.”
Evening Standard proprietor Evgeny Lebedev said: “It is a pleasure to have the backing of the Duchess of Sussex for our campaign. Her support for the survivors of the Grenfell fire is truly admirable. Our campaign will continue to support the Hubb Community Kitchen, along with so many other essential community organisations at this time. This is a crisis, and I am grateful for Meghan’s endorsement.”
Meghan is not in charge of the Hubb Community Kitchen, she just spearheaded the cookbook, which raised so much money that Hubb was funded to stay open for, I don’t know, several years, probably. The Hubb community leaders were the ones deciding to work with the other charities to make and deliver food to vulnerable communities, and my guess is that Meghan worked behind the scenes alongside the Evening Standard to put all the pieces together. Now Meghan is putting her face and name on the program, which will help them raise even more money. Personally, I still love the fact that food insecurity and hunger is one of Meghan’s big issues. Her first big project as a royal was the cookbook, and her first big moves as a post-royal are “volunteering with Project Angel Food” and supporting a meals-on-wheels-type program in London.