Meghan recalled the idea being used in a school lunch program in the U.S.
The Duchess of Sussex made the impromptu move of grabbing a marker and writing uplifting notes like “You are brave” and “You are strong” adorned with little hearts on banana peels while preparing the bags of food to be distributed tonight by One25, a charity that helps sex workers by bringing them food, advice and blankets.
Meghan, 37, came up with the idea as they were shown the bags being prepared in the organization’s kitchen.
“Oh, actually do you have a Sharpie marker? I have an idea,” she announced. “I saw this project this woman had started somewhere in the States on a school lunch program.”
Meghan explained, “On each of the bananas she wrote an affirmation, to make the kids feel really, like, empowered. It was the most incredible idea – this small gesture.”
Declaring “I am in charge of the banana messaging!” the royal mom-to-be began scribbling on the banana skins, with notes like “You are loved” and “You are special.”
“It was very spontaneous,” Anna Smith, CEO of One25, tells PEOPLE. “They were watching our volunteers pack up bags of food. Meghan just said, ‘Have you got a Sharpie?’ And I thought she was going to sign a bag. She actually signed every banana that went into all those bags.”
About six women will receive the encouraging messages this evening — and will be surprised with the tale of who wrote them.
This isn’t the first time Meghan has sent a sweet message via banana! Before she deleted her Instagram, the former Suits star shared a photo of two cuddling bananas with the caption, “Sleep tight xx.” The post came just hours after PEOPLE confirmed her budding romance with Prince Harry.
A volunteer at the organization, who is a former sex worker, told reporters, “I can imagine being on the van, and ‘Meghan wrote this thing, and what?’ I think they might not eat it. I think that banana would be at home until it is rotten. Because I would do the same.”
She added, “It sounds really cheesy, but little things like that when you are out – especially tonight, we can see the weather – just to get that little thing… Meghan took her time out to write that one. It’s lush.”
The volunteer said that the organization helped her quit a life on the streets after entering sex work when she was a teenager of 14 or 15.
“They helped me move on, and now I am trying to do the same for other women,” she said.
The woman was also very grateful for Meghan, 37, and Harry, 34, stopping by during their visit to Bristol.
“Us women can be forgotten,” she said. “They seemed to get that. That was lovely.”
Smith said the couple was “genuinely engaged they were in the issues that are faced by our women.”
“Women street sex workers are incredibly vulnerable in a dangerous cold wet environment and they were genuinely interested in that,” she said. “They picked up very quickly what that meant. And how our approach to giving unconditional love and support is what builds trust and how that works and help them move on.”