The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s Archewell Foundation is to fund the construction of four community relief centres for a global food charity, it was announced on Sunday.
The partnership with World Central Kitchen marks the first publicly announced philanthropic project for the couple since they launched their non-profit organisation.
It follows on from the Duchess’s hugely successful work with the Hubb Community Kitchen, created by the Grenfell Tower community in the wake of the west London tragedy, and the ensuing launch of a charity cookbook to help keep the kitchen open.
The development follows a series of lucrative business deals announced by the couple in recent months, including contracts with Netflix and Spotify, and the Duchess’s decision to privately invest in a number of start-ups.
World Food Kitchen, run by chef José Andrés, provides meals in the wake of natural disasters.
The four centres funded by Archewell will be permanent structures designed to be opened rapidly in the wake of emergencies, with the ability to become community centres, schools or clinics as necessary.
The Duke and Duchess said in a statement: “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 Duchess has volunteered at soup kitchens since she was 15.
In April, both she and the Duke volunteered with Project Angel Food, delivering meals to the vulnerable in Los Angeles.
Each of the four centres funded by Archewell will be in areas “disproportionately impacted by hunger and food system challenges.”
The first will be built on the Caribbean island of Dominica, which was hit by Hurricanes Maria and Irma in 2017, and is scheduled to open early next year. Another will be in Puerto Rico, while the other two locations have yet to be announced.
The Sussexes have not disclosed how much money Archewell will plough into the project but Nate Mook, CEO of World Central Kitchen, told Bloomberg that each centre would require an initial investment of at least $50,000 to get up and running.
World Central Kitchen has distributed 50 million meals in 17 countries since its launch in 2010. In 2018, Mr Andrés was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.
He said: “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.
“We are more energised 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.”