KUALA LUMPUR: "When you volunteer, you sometimes get more out of it than you put in," said Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall during a visit to The Lighthouse Children's Welfare Home and The Lost Food Project (TLFP) on Saturday.
The Duchess and her husband, Britain's Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, are on a seven-day official visit to Malaysia until Nov 8.
This is the first time they are visiting the country, and their inaugural visit is to commemorate the 60th anniversary of bilateral relations between Malaysia and Britain.
She was hosted by Suzanne Mooney, TLFP founder, and Jacinta and Steven
Silveraju, directors of The Lighthouse. Also in attendance at the visit were some of the volunteers and regular donors to TLFP.
Camilla, who is the patron of food rescue organisation UKHarvest, is a strong supporter of organisations that battle poverty, and food banks and the welfare of children are subjects close to her heart.
Camilla visited the 75 children who live at The Lighthouse, and witnessed firsthand as food once destined for the landfill was turned into nutritious meals.
The children are aged between three and 21, and the home relies on donations, and initiatives like TLFP.
"I am amazed and thrilled that this sort of project is taking place in Malaysia," said the Duchess during her visit. "It's so important and great to see this food is being used in such a positive way."
She praised the charity organisations saying, "The children are so healthy. It's a privilege to see the difference The Lost Food Project is making here".
After the visit, Mooney described the Duchess as "very down to earth, with no airs or graces".
"She's really lovely and said 'wonderful!' maybe a million times. She didn't mind getting her hands dirty, and helped to chop, prepare and serve food to the children," Mooney told The Star.
"She was very genuine in her interest in the children, and being a grandmother herself, she was delighted to meet children.
"She understood the issues of lost food, was sincere in her interest in what we were doing and saw our food trucks and the quality of food we were delivering to the home.
"She was very chatty and talked to everyone. She even told us that her son is a food writer and he loves Malaysian food," she added.
Mooney explained that she was approached by the British High Commission in Kuala Lumpur to help identify the charities.
TLFP is a non-profit organisation that saves edible surplus food from markets,
supermarkets and manufacturers and sends it to over 40 Klang Valley charities like The Lighthouse, thereby reducing waste and combating poverty at the same time.
In addition to various visits in Kuala Lumpur, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall will also be travelling to Perak, Sarawak and Penang.