Prince Harry, 35, and Meghan Markle, 38, seem to be settling into Los Angeles life just fine! The Duke and Duchess of Sussex volunteered at their first charity of the summer, Homeboy Industries, on June 23 and happily posed for photos with the staff during their exciting visit. The L.A. based social justice organization started in 1988 and aims at improving the lives of formerly incarcerated and previously gang-involved people, and Harry and Meghan both helped in the café and bakery during their time there.
“Yes, The Duke and Duchess joined the Homegirls and Homeboys working in the café and bakery for a session of cooking and conversation,” a spokesperson at Homeboy Industries told HollywoodLife. “Together they prepared food for the #FeedHOPE program, which employs Homeboy participants to provide meals to food-insecure seniors and youth across Los Angeles in the wake of the COVID19 pandemic.”
The official Homeboy Industries Instagram account shared photos of Harry and Meghan’s visit and credited the couple for the great snapshots. In one pic, the royal husband and wife can be seen wearing black face masks, hair coverings, and gloves while posing with the staff near laid out pieces of dough and in others, they are helping with the dough and filling several containers with ready-to-go food.
In the caption for the Instagram post, Homeboy Industries thanked Harry and Meghan for stopping by and helping with their Feed Hope program and expressed their excitement about the special day. Some staff members also released individual statements about their experiences with the Duke and Duchess.
“It was remarkable to share our Feed Hope program with Harry and Meghan today,” Mariana Enriquez, the manager of the Homegirl Café, said. “They are both down to earth and kind. The staff was honored they took the time to see us, hear us and walk on our journey today. We will never forget it.”
“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were just ‘Harry and Meghan’ to the homies,” Father Greg Boyle, the founder of Homeboy Industries, explained. “They rolled up their sleeves and deeply engaged with our workers in the Bakery and Café. It was immediate kinship and heartening in its mutuality.”
“With their visit, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex saw the dignity and power that comes from having a job,” said Homeboy Industries’ CEO, Thomas Vozzo. “At Homeboy, through our social enterprise businesses, people can continue to heal and they work, learning skills and changing their lives, changing their families and changing communities.”
The Duchess of Sussex has spoken out about the “absolutely devastating” death of George Floyd in a message to students at LA’s Immaculate Heart High School, her alma mater. Meghan told the class of 2020: “George Floyd’s life mattered…I know you know that black lives matter.” pic.twitter.com/qe7ZxvAk45
— Roya Nikkhah (@RoyaNikkhah) June 4, 2020
Although Harry and Meghan’s visit may seem like a spontaneous one, it turns out Meghan has a bit of history with the incredible organization and has worked with them before. Father Greg Boyle worked with Meghan’s old high school, Immaculate Heart High School, and she and her mother Doria Ragland, actually joined Father Boyle for a cooking workshop with Homeboy almost 20 years ago. In fact, Meghan still remembers the tamale recipe she learned from the workshop.
Harry and Meghan’s visit to Homeboy Industries comes in the midst of social justice once again making its way into the worldwide spotlight due to the tragic death of George Floyd. Meghan talked about Floyd and racism during a commencement speech she filmed for her old high school on June 3 and admitted she thought the state of America was “devastating” right now. She also expressed her sympathy for the graduating seniors and the fact that they have to witness racial injustice to this day. She ended the video message by stating her belief in the students and said encouraging words that assured them they can make the world a better place in the future.