Unseen photo of Duchess Meghan volunteering in Toronto shelter’s kitchen surfaces

By Zach Harper

Earlier this month, Duchess Meghan and Prince Harry selected Toronto’s St. Felix Centre as one of 12 charities they wanted fans to support this holiday season. Now, the non-profit that offers services to homeless and underhoused people has shared a previously unseen photo of the Duchess of Sussex volunteering there when she lived in Toronto.

As we know, Meghan lived in Canada’s largest city while she was filming Suits from 2011 to 2017. It makes sense for her to have visited St. Felix, since it’s relatively close to the house she used to rent in the city’s Seaton Village neighbourhood.

“We feel very grateful and honoured to have been highlighted by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan Markle, as one of 12 charities doing important work worldwide,” the centre wrote on Instagram. “This photo has Meghan volunteering in our kitchen… She volunteered on a regular basis in our kitchen as part of our Community Meals Program.”

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We feel very grateful and honoured to have been highlighted by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan Markle, as one of 12 charities doing important work worldwide.  This photo has Meghan volunteering in our kitchen! ❤ . The couple said: “With the festive holiday season upon us, it’s also a reminder to reflect on those in need – those who may feel lonely, hungry, homeless, or may be experiencing the holidays for the first time without loved ones. It’s an important time of year to help those around you who may be less fortunate, or who would appreciate even the smallest act of kindness. Continuing our monthly tradition of highlighting accounts that do good, and inspired by the “Twelve Days of Christmas” - we have selected twelve organisations caring for those in need - especially at this time of year.” . Meghan Markle was an active supporter and volunteer of St. Felix Centre during her time living in the city while working on Suits. She volunteered on a regular basis in our kitchen as part of our Community Meals Program. The Duchess also donated food from the set of Suits, and on one Thanksgiving she brought in all the food, turkeys and the fixings for over 100 people. . Through our Twitter account we responded to the announcement: “Thank you! Many people here have fond memories of Duchess Meghan volunteering with us – though we remember her just as 'the lovely Meghan'. We're happy to see she continues supporting vulnerable people now as a member of the Royal Family. We'd love for her to visit us again one day.” . Thousands of people have responded to the call to visit our social media platforms, many of them urging people to make a donation to our Lighting the Way Christmas campaign. . Many vulnerable people in our Toronto need your support! If you are planning your holiday giving, please consider making a donation to our Lighting the Way campaign - link in our bio. Your support can make all the difference! . #Toronto #stfelixcentre #homeless #charity #harryandmeghan #sussexroyal #meghanmarkle #volunteer #lovetoronto #blogto #curiocitytoronto #hypetoronto #libertyvillage #queenwest #toreats #tdot #6ixgrams #torontolife #igerstoronto

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The centre, which also runs drop-in programs and a 24-hour respite program, also pointed out another extraordinary act of kindness from Meghan.

“The Duchess also donated food from the set of Suits, and on one Thanksgiving she brought in all the food, turkeys and the fixings for over 100 people.”

We’re not surprised to hear how generous the new mother has been, but we certainly are touched to hear of the huge difference she was making while she lived in Canada. She clearly left an impression, since the centre also pointed out that Meghan’s nickname while volunteering there was “the lovely Meghan” and “many people have fond memories” of her.

Has also Meghan previously drawn praise for volunteering at the Hubb Community Kitchen, run by survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire. She wrote the foreword to Together: Our Community Kitchen, a charity cookbook supporting the survivors, which was released in 2018. Photo: © Chris Jackson/Getty Images

St. Felix’s website says it welcomes more than 300 guests every day into its space, serves more than 20,000 meals each month, provides 4,000 spaces for people to rest every month and has helped nearly 100 women into transitional housing since 2012. It also runs arts and crafts programs, features visits from harm reduction nurses and more.

We hope the centre receives even more support and volunteers thanks to Meghan and Harry. It truly is an important, needed space in the city. According to the website of the Fred Victor Centre, one of Toronto’s largest shelters located in the east end of its downtown, more than 9,200 people are homeless in the city “on any given night.”

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