Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan Will Build a Relief Center in Mumbai to Aid India’s COVID Crisis

It was exactly three years ago that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex tied the knot surrounded by members of dozens of charities and organizations that they had worked closely with. Today, on their anniversary, the couple continue to add philanthropic achievements to their names.

Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan’s Archewell Foundation confirmed today that their ongoing partnership with World Central Kitchen (WCK) will see them build their third Community Relief Center—this time in India. The Mumbai facility is being quickly erected to help provide aid and support during the country’s devastating second wave of COVID-19.

The new relief center will also be situated close to Myna Mahila, an Indian nongovernmental organization (NGO) focused on women’s empowerment through health awareness and employment opportunities, which Meghan has been involved with since March 2017. The charity was one of seven to benefit from more than $120,000 in charitable gift donations made by the public to the Sussexes ahead of their 2018 nuptials in Windsor.

First announced in December 2020, Archewell and WCK’s partnership will eventually result in four relief centers that, in times of crisis, can be quickly transformed into emergency response kitchens. Their first relief center, in the Commonwealth country of Dominica, was opened at the start of the year, and development of a facility in Puerto Rico is also underway. In normal times, each location can also be used by schools, clinics, and community initiatives.

“The purpose of these centers is to provide relief and resilience (as well as healing and strength) for the communities in which they’re based,” writes a spokesperson for the Sussexes’ nonprofit. “During future crises, these centers can be quickly activated as emergency response kitchens—or vaccination sites—and through calmer times they can serve as food distribution hubs, schools, clinics, or community gathering spaces for families.”

WCK has already been active in India throughout its COVID-19 crisis, which saw its infection tally reach 25.5 million today—the world’s second-highest after the United States, with a death toll of 283,248. The organization, which was founded in 2010 by celebrity chef José Andrés, is currently situated at eight hotels serving more than 20,000 fresh lunches and dinners to frontline hospital workers and quarantine centers every day. Chef Sanjeev Kapoor has been working closely with the organization’s relief team and recently spoke about the importance of maintaining the health of those working on the front lines.

“We began working on recipes and cyclic menus so food is not repetitive. It is not that when you get free food, you don’t deserve good food,” Kapoor said. “As chefs, we want to bring diligence, thought, and intelligence to the menu. We have to have local sensitivities in mind. The frontline workers at hospitals are in an environment where the viral load is very high so we have to provide what is good for their health. The freshness of the food and vegetables are really important.”

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