Yesterday, The Duke of Sussex visited Streatham Youth Centre in South London, to see a Fit and Fed initiative, which seeks to give children nutritious food and get them active during the half-term holiday.
The campaign is supported by StreetGames, which is one of the charities that Prince Harry supports. This is the third such session the father-to-be has attended in the last 12 months, with Fit and Fed being launched in 2017.
The Duke of Sussex donned a pair of latex gloves as he helped serve up lunch. He plated up pasta and salad to children there.
The Royal joked as he was responsible for the greens: “Huh, I get given all the stuff they won’t want in this lunch.”
Serving the first child he said: “You’ve got to have one of these,” pointing to the bowls of cucumber, tomato and lettuce. It seems Harry might have been practising his parental persuasion as he convinced some children to take more salad.
One asked for three chunks of cucumber. The Duke responded: “Three? How about four?”
It certainly seems such schemes are needed, as 73% of the poorest families in the U.K. cannot always afford to feed their children during the school holidays—which is estimated to affect 3 million children. During term time they rely on free school meals. 321 sites offer these services, helping more than 15,000 young people with some 146,000 meals and snacks.
The closure of youth centres in times of government austerity has been spoken about by The Duke of Sussex in the past. Young people is one of the areas focussed on by the Royal Foundation.
Prince Harry once more spoke about the importance of such places: “We are adding to those issues of social isolation, whether it’s being on your phone or computer games, or whatever it is, for young people nowadays to be brought up in a world like this, we are adding to a whole list of issues that already existed.
“And by closing places like this down, the one place which they have where they can have a normal conversation, be that about mental health, or their lifestyle, be it about issues at home, whatever it is.
“We all understand it, we all get it but these place are literally a community hub, and I don’t think people over the years have actually understood or realised how vital this is to the younger generation.”
Sessions not only include a healthy lunch, but also activities to encourage exercise. Prince Harry sat in on a trampolining session and some karate.
Harry was also presented with a giant teddy bear for his baby, that is expected in April or May, ahead of his and Meghan’s first wedding anniversary.
Jane Ashworth, CEO of StreetGames, said: “The ongoing crisis of holiday hunger is a hugely important issue, and we are incredibly grateful to the Duke of Sussex for his work in ensuring that no child is left hungry, isolated or inactive during the school holidays.”