Meghan Markle and Prince Harry donned hair nets and facemasks as they volunteered alongside former gang members at a Los Angeles bakery.
The Duke, 35, and Duchess of Sussex, 38, who are currently living in Tyler Perry’s $18 million mansion in Los Angeles having stepped back from royal duties in March, visited the Homeboy Industries cafe and bakery yesterday.
The couple appeared low-key in photographs shared of the visit, as they helped prepare food and learn more about the organisation’s programme.
The bakery shared snaps of the pair’s visit on Instagram, posting: ‘Thank you to Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, for visiting and standing in kinship with our Café and Bakery teams yesterday!
Prince Harry, 35, and Meghan Markle, 38, joined former gang members at a bakery in Los Angeles to volunteer and make food for the elderly in the area (pictured, at their final royal duty in March)
The Duchess of Sussex, who had previously taken part in workshops with the organisation as a teenager, could be seen packing food boxes
‘Our staff were thrilled to work alongside them as they helped prepare food and learned more about our newly launched #FeedHOPE program, which employs our program participants to provide meals to food-insecure seniors and youth across Los Angeles in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.’
Meghan donned a smart white shirt and relaxed denim jeans for the volunteering effort, sweeping her hair into a low bun to tuck into her net.
Meanwhile Prince Harry opted to match his wife in a similar smart white shirt as he joined her on the production line.
The couple could be seen helping out to bake bread, as well as folding dough and sorting out food boxes for the vulnerable in their new hometown.
According to Harper Bazaar’s royal editor Omid Scobie, it is run by Father Gregory Boyle, who the Duke and Duchess have been speaking with about the racial justice movement.
The Duke and Duchess donned facemasks and hairnets as they joined the production line at the bakery
Meghan first met Father Boyle 20 years ago at a Homeboy Industry cooking workshop where she and her mother Doria made tamales.
Meghan Markle’s visits to baking workshop for disadvantaged women
Following the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s visit to Homeboy Industries cafe and bakery yesterday, Meghan suggested it was similar to the Luminary Bakery in London.
The social enterprise trains UK-based women who have been victims of violence and sex trafficking.
Meghan featured the project when she guest-edited an issue of British Vogue, and she posed for a series of photographs with women at the bakery in 2019.
Luminary Bakery (pictured) is an all-female social enterprise bakery which helps women who have been victims of violence and sex trafficking, or who have been to prison, get back into work
Father Boyle, who has worked closely with Meghan’s alma mater, Immaculate Heart High School in Los Angeles, said: ‘The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were just “Harry and Meghan” to the homies.
‘They rolled up their sleeves and deeply engaged with our workers in the bakery and cafe. It was immediate kinship and heartening in its mutuality.’
Harry and Meghan’s spokesman said ‘the duchess mentioned that the spirit and style reminded her of the times she visited the Luminary Bakery in London’, a social enterprise that offers disadvantaged women in the UK new opportunities.
Mariana Enriquez, manager at Homegirl Cafe, said: ‘It was remarkable to share our Feed Hope programme with Harry and Meghan.
‘They are both down to earth and kind. The staff was honoured they took the time to see us, hear us and walk on our journey today. We will never forget it.’
A representative of the couple said the Duke and Duchess ‘connect deeply’ with the organisation’s mission (which includes resources such as counselling, education, legal assistance, addiction recovery and employment ops) and feel it’s ‘a perfect example of how empathy, kindness, and compassion can change the world.’
The organisation describes itself as ‘a beacon of hope in Los Angeles to brave men and women seeking to transform their lives after gang-involvement and incarceration.’
It provides support to nearly 9,000 individuals through job training and free services such as tattoo removal, mental health services, GED classes, legal services, and more.
It also helps provide space for our clients to heal from intergenerational cycles of violence in a community of radical compassion.
It is the third time the couple have been seen volunteering during the course of the coronavirus pandemic. In April, Meghan and Prince Harry were spotted out on the streets of LA as they continued their volunteering work for charity amid the crisis.
The Duchess had previously taken part in cooking workshops with the organisation when she was a teenager alongside her mother Doria (pictured, with the Prince Harry at the launch of the Hubb cookbook in 2019)
The couple were seen linking arms and holding hands as they delivered packages to residents from the back of their $35,000 Cadillac XT5, having seemingly downgraded from the Porsche SUV they had used previously.
It emerged that the couple, who moved to Los Angeles with 11-month-old son Archie a month ago, have been distributing meals to the needy in LA for the Project Angel Food charity.
A source close to the couple told the Daily Mail that they had hoped to keep their volunteering private but were glad the charity was being recognised.
The Sussexes initially moved to Canada after stepping down as senior working royals on March 31 but are now forging out new lives for themselves as they set up home in California.
The news comes days after a friend of Meghan’s told DailyMail.com that her instinct to leave the United Kingdom and move to California all makes sense to her now, because she believes she was ‘destined’ to help fight systemic racism in the United States.
The Duchess feels that her ‘gnawing urgency to uproot from England’ was fate so she could be at the ‘forefront’ of the movement, the insider explained.
it comes after sources revealed that the Duchess of Sussex feels ‘destined’ to help fight systemic racism in the United States (pictured, the royal recently spoke out about Black Lives Matter)
They added: ‘Meghan said her work as a leader is more important than ever right now and that she’s been speaking with Oprah and other community leaders on how she can be part of the solution.
‘Meghan feels like her mission goes far beyond acting. She said she wants to use her voice for change and hasn’t ruled out a career in politics.’
Meghan, who quit her royal duties with husband Prince Harry earlier this year and relocated to LA in March, recently distanced herself from best friend Jessica Mulroney after she threatened to sue a black influencer over a dispute.
It came as the United States has been rocked by protests across the country in the wake of the deaths of George Floyd and other African-Americans who have died at the hands of police, sparking national conversations about racism.
Meghan spoke out about Floyd’s death earlier this month, declaring ‘black lives matter’ and admitted she hadn’t made a statement earlier because she had been ‘nervous’.
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