“You are the example of love in action, and that is your purpose.”
The Hubb kitchen was first set up by survivors at Al Manaar mosque in the aftermath of the fire to provide refuge and hot meals for bereaved families in west London. Three years later, the project – which has long been supported by the Duchess of Sussex – is still going.
“I think back to when I met all of you and how you had all come together in the wake of what you experienced in your community,” Meghan says, in an audio message which she recorded from her home in Los Angeles.
“What you have done is such an inspiration.”
“You continue to give back, you continue to put love in action,” Meghan goes on to say, as reported by the Evening Standard.
“You continue to give back, you continue to put love in action. And that’s really what Hubb is all about… we know it means love, but you are the example of love in action, and that is your purpose.”
She finishes: “I’m so proud of you, so is Harry, and we are sending so much love to you from across the pond and thinking of you today, as I’m sure it’s a difficult day, but also one where you can look at how much you’ve accomplished in the past three years, and how you continue to give back and be an example for all of those around you.”
Meghan has made a series of visits to Hubb since the fire. Earlier this year, she held a Zoom call with the women involved to discuss their plans to cook between 250 and 300 meals a day, three days a week, for vulnerable locals during lockdown.
And, of course, the duchess penned the foreword for Together, the Hubb kitchen’s charity cookbook featuring the women’s own personal recipes from across Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean.
“I immediately felt connected to this community kitchen; it is a place for women to laugh, grieve, cry and cook together,” wrote Meghan at the time.
Meghan continued: “Melding cultural identities under a shared roof, it creates a space to feel a sense of normalcy — in its simplest form, the universal need to connect, nurture, and commune through food, through crisis or joy — something we can all relate to.
“Through this charitable endeavour, the proceeds will allow the kitchen to thrive and keep the global spirit of community alive.”
The cookbook aimed to raise £250,000 to keep the Hubb going. In March 2019, though, the annual financial report for The Royal Foundation revealed that the book had raised a whopping £557,638 after selling over 130,000 copies.
“The resulting funds mean the kitchen has been completely refurbished and is now open seven days a week,” read the report.
“The women have been working with the social enterprise charity UnLtd to develop their own plans and ideas.”
You can still contribute to the cause by buying a copy of Together: Our Community Cookbook on Waterstones for £9.99.