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Meghan Markle appears on CNN to pay tribute to ‘quiet heroes’ of the pandemic

Meghan Markle has praised the ‘quiet heroes’ of the coronavirus pandemic who have supported communities in a clip recorded for CNN in her first public appearance since revealing she suffered a miscarriage.

The Duchess of Sussex praised key workers and volunteers, while sitting on a bench apparently in the grounds of the $14million California mansion she shares with Prince Harry, who was not involved in the video.

Meghan, 39, said last night: ‘We saw communities standing up and taking action. When kids’ lunch programs came to a halt, we saw our neighbors make sure that those children received the nutrition they need.’

She added that ‘we as a community showed up’ to deliver food needed by vulnerable people, adding that ‘we also saw the power of the human spirit’ and that ‘we have the power to remind someone else that there is hope’.

It was the first time the Duchess has been seen since she wrote an article for the New York Times last month, revealing she lost her child in July, and described the ‘unbearable grief’ it caused her and 36-year-old Harry.

She did not address her own loss in the CNN clip, but told how 2020 had been ‘a year that has been universally challenging for everyone,’ before praising those who rose to the occasion and fed hungry neighbors going through tough times.

Meghan, who was wearing Catherine Zoraida earrings and a Cartier bracelet, had been speaking as part of the CNN Heroes series which praises those making a difference in communities.

Meghan, who has volunteered with Harry for several food charities in Los Angeles during the pandemic, said in the pre-taped message: ‘Tonight, we are celebrating these quiet heroes, some of whom I know and others that we applaud from afar. We know the value of food; as nourishment, as a life source.

‘And in the moments of crisis, the warmth of a meal can feel as comforting as a much-needed hug – especially in the absence of human contact due to the social distancing we’re all experiencing.’

‘In a year that has been universally challenging for everyone, I’m inspired by the stories of compassion in our communities. Across the country, people have put their own needs aside to come together and support the collective well-being of those around them.

‘Back in March, the Covid-19 crisis hit hard, and overnight everything seemed to change. For many families, the impact of the pandemic has been catastrophic, and far too many were faced with the heartbreaking question: How am I going to put food on the table for my family?’

In June, Meghan worked with Homeboy Industries, a community social justice organisation based in the Los Angeles area

Meghan, who has volunteered with Harry for several food charities in Los Angeles during the pandemic, said in the pre-taped message: ‘Tonight, we are celebrating these quiet heroes, some of whom I know and others that we applaud from afar. We know the value of food; as nourishment, as a life source.

In August, Harry and Meghan handed out boxes of supplies, clothes and nappies at an event with Baby2baby in Los Angeles

‘And in the moments of crisis, the warmth of a meal can feel as comforting as a much-needed hug – especially in the absence of human contact due to the social distancing we’re all experiencing.’

‘In a year that has been universally challenging for everyone, I’m inspired by the stories of compassion in our communities. Across the country, people have put their own needs aside to come together and support the collective well-being of those around them.

‘Back in March, the Covid-19 crisis hit hard, and overnight everything seemed to change. For many families, the impact of the pandemic has been catastrophic, and far too many were faced with the heartbreaking question: How am I going to put food on the table for my family?’

She highlighted a surge in hunger in the country, sparked by rising unemployment and the inability for vulnerable populations – like the elderly and at-risk residents – to safely get enough food for themselves.

‘But in the face of this devastating reality, we also saw the power of the human spirit and the remarkable ways that communities respond in challenging times. We saw the good in people, in our neighbours and in entire communities coming together to say they would not stand by while our neighbors went hungry.’

‘These individuals stood up and made sure the most basic needs of our communities were met. They made sure those around them did not have to suffer in isolation. They nourished their neighbors in more ways than one.

‘And they showed us, all of us, that even in the darkest times, when we come together, we have the power to remind someone else that there is hope, and that we will be okay.’

Meghan spoke out after hunger-relief charity Feeding America claimed that by the end of this year more than 50million people – or one in six Americans – could experience food insecurity, up nearly 50 per cent from last year.

Throughout the pandemic and Thanksgiving holiday, foodbanks have been inundated with long lines of hungry Americans who have lost jobs in the pandemic or don’t have enough food to put on the table.

Feeding America said they have never handed out so much food so fast, serving 4.2billion meals from March through October, a 60 percent increase due to the pandemic where four in 10 guests are first-timers.

Harry did not appear with Meghan in the short clip for CNN, unlike the couple’s controversial video for Time 100 in September where they appeared to back Joe Biden for the 2020 presidential election.

Speaking in the Time 100 video message, also filmed from their luxury California home, Harry told voters to ‘reject hate speech’ while Meghan called the presidential race the ‘most important election of our lifetime’.

While Harry and Meghan did not name their favored candidate, many viewers thought it ‘obvious’ they were backing Joe Biden over Donald Trump – although a source close to Harry denied this.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman later appeared to wash their hands of Harry and Meghan, saying: ‘The Duke is not a working member of the Royal Family and any comments he makes are made in a personal capacity.’

In April she and Harry helped distribute meals for Project Angel Food, a non-profit that prepares and delivers meals to people living with critical illnesses who face greater risks during the pandemic.

In June, the couple worked with Homeboy Industries, a community social justice organization that helps the formerly incarcerated and former gang members.

They joined the group’s participants working in a café and bakery and helped them make food for the #FeedHOPE program which distributes meals to seniors and youth who face food insecurity sparked by the pandemic.

The couple helped bake bread, fold dough and organize food boxes for distribution.

Then in August the couple handed out boxes of supplies, clothes and nappies at a drive-thru event with Baby2baby, a non-profit dedicated to helping families in need.

In her November New York Times column, Meghan revealed she lost her second child in July after feeling a ‘sharp cramp’ while changing her son Archie’s nappy.

‘After changing his [Archie’s] diaper, I felt a sharp cramp. I dropped to the floor with him in my arms, humming a lullaby to keep us both calm, the cheerful tune a stark contrast to my sense that something was not right,’ she wrote.

In the piece called ‘The Losses We Share’, she said: ‘I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second.’

She was praised for helping break the taboo surrounding child loss and to stop the ‘cycle of solitary mourning.’

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