Camilla visits childhood hometown but is 'very surprised' at what she finds on her return
Camilla visited Lewes, in East Sussex, about an hour and a half's train ride south of London.
The duchess grew up in the nearby village of Plumpton, in a sprawling seven-bedroom home called The Laines.
The home was owned by Camilla's father Major Bruce Shand and his wife Rosalind.
During her visit to the region overnight, the duchess expressed surprise that the relatively affluent area needed a foodbank which she was there to visit.
"Goodness, I'm very surprised, having lived here all my young life," she said. "I thought Lewes sounded an unusual place for a foodbank, but it just goes to show."
For her visit, Camilla wore a green Anna Valentine dress and a dragonfly-patterned face mask.
Camilla was shown Christ's Church in Lewes, which has been transformed into the Fitzjohn's Foodbank run by volunteers.
The church stores goods including fresh vegetables, eggs, milk and bread in readiness for weekly deliveries to the vulnerable. The scheme has seen an increase of 15-25 per cent of users since the start of the pandemic. During this time, a team of volunteer drivers supply food and other household necessities to around 40 households a week.
The church also works closely with Lewes Open Door charity, which runs a weekly lunchtime drop-in for homeless people in the community.
The duchess also met with the pandemics "unsung heroes" inside a warehouse supplying up to one million items per month to its 77 pharmacies. The pharmacies deliver prescription medicines for free and its warehouse uses an automated system to robots – known as Weasels – to move the packages around the huge facility.
Camilla had travelled south on board a train, which she caught from Victoria Station in London.
Before departing the duchess heard about a program offered at the station, giving free transport to people fleeing abuse.
The Rail to Refuge scheme helps people to escape domestic abuse and reach a safe refuge quickly and free of charge.
It was introduced by all train operators during the first UK lockdown, in March 2020, and figures show that four survivors a day, on average, have used the lifesaving scheme so far. Free travel can be a lifeline for people fleeing abuse who may not have access to money. Almost two-thirds of people who used the initiative said they would not have travelled if the journey had not been paid for.
The duchess praised stationmaster Darren O'Brien, who first proposed the idea.
"This is a brilliant initiative," Camilla said. "And you should feel very proud of yourself.
"It's amazing during this lockdown how many wonderful ideas have been thought up... we need more Darrens!"
Camilla's journey on the tracks is believed to be the first train ride by a senior member of the royal family since the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's rail tour late last year.