“This is more than a cookbook,” Meghan (née Markle), the Duchess of Sussex, said back in September while delivering her very first royal speech during a celebration of the launch of her cookbook, Together: Our Community Cookbook. “The power of food is more than just the meal itself.”
The fundraising cookbook, now a best-seller, was created to support the Hubb Community Kitchen, and since its release in mid-September, it has done just that and so much more.
According to Food & Wine, Together has sold more than 40,000 copies in the U.K. and has raised $270,000 so far. Internationally, it has sold tens of thousands more in sales.
Due to the success of the book, the community kitchen is now open seven days a week instead of two, and the kitchen is now preparing 200 meals a day. These meals are delivered to local groups in need, including care homes, homeless shelters and women’s shelters. In just over a month, the kitchen has already been completely redesigned too.
In just seven weeks, Together has raised an incredible £210,000 from UK sales alone. This has helped renovate the Hubb Community Kitchen, keep it open for seven days a week, and enabled the women to reach out to more people in the community. Thank you. #CookTogether 📷 @LedburyUK pic.twitter.com/dkOt6upyaw
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) November 21, 2018
The day before Thanksgiving, Meghan visited the Hubb Community Kitchen and the survivors of the Grenfell Tower tragedy who inhabit it to see just how much the book has impacted their lives. While there, Meghan, with the help of her friend and Michelin-starred chef Clare Smyth, helped cook veggies and rice and helped the women pack 300 meals for the local community, according to Kensington Palace.
— Simon Perry (@SPerryPeoplemag) November 21, 2018
“She’s down to earth and she’s come and supported the project. She’s part of the group,” Hubb kitchen coordinator Zaheera Sufyaan told reporters that day. “The women are very inspired, they have their own cuisines and recipes and everything’s brought together and made this project.”
Meghan had stimulating talks with the women at Hubb. According to Kensington Palace, the women shared their “long-term vision for the Hubb Community Kitchen and their ideas for how they can use further proceeds from Together to help reach even more people in their community.”
The women also shared their new projects at the community kitchen, including a project that will deliver nutritious meals for women in maternity wards and for women affected by domestic violence.
While the women in the kitchen are very grateful to Meghan, the feeling is mutual. The cookbook, Together, and the Hubb Community Kitchen are clearly very close to Meghan’s heart. Plus, the duchess regularly visits the kitchen privately.
“Working on this project for the past nine months has been a tremendous labor of love,” Meghan said in her first official royal speech. “I just recently moved to London, and I felt so immediately embraced by this kitchen — your warmth and kindness, and also to be able to be in this city and to see in this one small room how multicultural it was.”