Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have announced their non-profit, the Archewell Foundation, is partnering with World Central Kitchen, a food relief charity run by DC-based celebrity chef and activist José Andrés, to fund community relief centers.
The foundation will help build four new relief service centers for World Central Kitchen, which will provide food for people in areas hit by natural disasters.
The first center will open early next year on the Caribbean Island of Dominica, which lost approximately 90 percent of houses around the country — 23,500 houses — to Hurricane Maria in 2017. And the second community relief center will be created in Puerto Rico, where Andrés distributed meals after Hurricane Maria through his charity.
Two more locations are expected to be announced in the near future. The Sussexes and Andrés are reportedly working to include other partners in the initiative.
“The health of our communities depends on our ability to connect to our shared humanity. 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 Duke and Duchess of Sussex told Bloomberg.
Andrés’ World Central Kitchen has delivered around 50 million meals in more than a dozen countries since it was founded by the Spanish-American chef in 2010. It has also provided millions of meals in the US during the coronavirus pandemic.
“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,” Chef Andrés said.
WCK’s role during pandemic and election
Andrés launched the “Chefs for The Polls” campaign, deploying chefs to polling stations on early voting days and on Election Day in the District, as well as in other cities including Houston, Austin, Dallas, Atlanta, Miami, and Milwaukee for delivering free food to voters waiting in long lines.
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, Andrés temporarily closed all of his restaurants in the region in March and turned some of them into community kitchens (operating as part of WCK) for those in need.
DC Mayor Muriel Bowser selected Andrés along with another restaurateur, Andy Shallal, for a committee that is tasked with planning how to reopen the District of Columbia as it recovers from the coronavirus crisis.
Andrés’ team traveled to Japan in February to provide food to the people who were quarantined aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship due to the virus-related disease.
In September 2019, Andrés provided more than 100,000 free meals for Bahamians, who survived the Hurricane Dorian, as well as residents of the Carolinas and Florida.
He also opened a kitchen in DC to serve cooked meals free of charge for federal workers and their families during the government shutdown in January 2019.
In January, Andrés helped victims of two earthquakes that shook Puerto Rico.