Even before she had adopted the title Duchess of Sussex and all the responsibilities the title confers, Meghan Markle was already doing charity work. And over the weekend, one Canadian organization reminded everyone of that.
On Sunday, Toronto’s very own St. Felix Centre — a non-profit that provides services for some of the city’s most marginalized and vulnerable populations — shared an old photograph of Markle volunteering in their kitchen, her face beaming beneath the brim of a black baseball cap.
Markle appears to be in incognito mode — hence the hat and the black coat, rather than her more favoured fashions — but the throwback photo isn’t too surprising. The duchess lived in Toronto for a time while she was filming the TV series “Suits,” and spent time working at the St. Felix Centre, helping to pass out food.
“She volunteered on a regular basis in our kitchen as part of our Community Meals Program,” the charity’s caption on Instagram reads. “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.”
HuffPost Canada has reached out to the St. Felix Centre for comment.
Earlier this month, the St. Felix Centre appeared on the @sussexroyal Instagram page, as part of the royal couple’s ongoing monthly effort to highlight charities and other organizations that are “doing amazing things for their communities and the world at large.”
“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,” the royal couple’s Instagram post reads. “It’s an important time of year to help those around you who may be less fortunate, or who would appreciate even the smallest acts of kindness.”
The St. Felix Centre, which is the only Canadian organization in the post, fits that profile.
It’s been around (officially) since 1993, and offers a number of services to the Toronto community. Its 24-hour respite program responds to the needs of those experiencing marginal housing, addiction and homelessness. Its Community Meals program (the one Markle volunteered for, years ago) serves 9,000 meals monthly. The P.A.W.S. program aids guests in accessing veterinary services for their pets, and the Casework and Social Supports program helps with housing support, mental health care, and legal issues, among other things.
“Many people here have fond memories of Duchess Meghan volunteering with us — though we remember her just as ‘the lovely Meghan,’” the St. Felix Centre wrote on Dec. 1 in response to the royal couple’s post. “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.”
Maybe Markle will make another undercover appearance.
To learn more about the St. Felix Centre or to donate, visit their website here.