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Update, February 25, 2021: Roughly two months after announcing their partnership, World Central Kitchen gave an update that the first of the community centers it is working on with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Archewell Foundation is complete.
The first community relief center was finished in the Caribbean island nation of Dominica this week, and according to a post on World Central Kitchen, it will be the first of four to open.
"Announced late last year, the intent of these Centers is to provide both relief and resilience–as well as healing and strength–for the communities in which they’re based," WCK wrote in the most recent update: "In times of crisis, they can be quickly activated as emergency response kitchens, and through calmer times they can serve as food distribution hubs, schools, clinics, or community gathering spaces for families.
This first center, which was also created in partnership with RezDM–the Resilient Dominica Project, led by Simon Walsh–and the Ministry of Education, will be on the grounds of the new Soufriere Primary School and will allow a space for staff to cook for students and the community. WCK even plans to open a culinary training program later in the year so that chefs can prepare food for the community and feed large numbers of people during times of crisis. The new center was also created in support of Dominica's goals to become the world's first climate-resilient nation. You can see photos of the center below and read more about it here.
As previously reported, WCK and the foundation are already working on plans for a second center in Puerto Rico.
Original, December 12, 2020: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced this weekend that they are teaming up with World Central Kitchen to open up community centers that will provide food and other services to those in areas impacted by disasters.
The couple's Archewell Foundation is partnering with the José Andrés-founded non-profit to open centers around the world. These spaces will be permanent structures in the community, according to Bloomberg, which can be used as food distribution centers, as well as schools and clinics, during times of crisis, but then can also be used as community spaces in other times.
The first center is slated to open early next year in Dominica, which was hugely impacted by both Hurricanes Maria and Irma in 2017. A second is expected to open in Puerto Rico, which also saw massive devastation by Hurricane Maria. Two more centers are planned, though their locations were not immediately announced.
“The health of our communities depends on our ability to connect to our shared humanity,” said Meghan and Prince Harry in a statement to the publication:
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.
World Central Kitchen has been a near-constant presence in feeding and caring for people in all sorts of disasters over the past decade, from those in areas devastated by hurricanes and fires to those stranded on cruise ships this year during the COVID-19 pandemic. Meghan has also used food in her activism and philanthropic work in the past, working with Hubb Community Kitchen and writing the forward for their cookbook, Together: Our Community Kitchen.
“We are more energized than ever to continue this vital work,” José told Bloomberg in a statement, “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.”
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