"these drivers don’t know if they’re going to be home or not."
A group of Sikh volunteers in Kent have come to the aid of stranded lorry drivers by producing hundreds of meals for them.
Hundreds of truckers have been left trapped because of the closure at Dover port.
France had announced a UK travel ban due to concerns over the more infectious strain of Coronavirus. As a result, truckers are stuck waiting and unsure of what is going to happen.
With no immediate end to the crisis in sight, Kent’s Sikh community decided to offer free hot meals to the stranded drivers.
Sikhs from Guru Nanak Darbar, a gurdwara in Gravesend, helped cook over 800 meals.
— Langar Aid (@LangarAid) December 22, 2020
Temple leaders received the plea during the midday lunch rush and immediately sprung into action.
A spokesman for the Guru Nanak Darbar, Jagdev Singh Virdee said:
“Khalsa Aid got in touch in the morning at about 12 pm and by 2:30 pm they came to collect the food.
“We made some phone calls to get volunteers together because we are already doing Langar, where we deliver to vulnerable people.”
Volunteers from Khalsa Aid travelled over 80 miles to help provide more than 800 meals to the truckers.
The volunteers were given a Kent Police escort along the M20 to deliver the meals to stranded drivers.
Ravi Singh, founder of Khalsa Aid said:
“Everyone’s working together to feed the drivers it’s been an amazing day and we are immensely proud.
“From tomorrow it’s two days away from Christmas and these drivers don’t know if they’re going to be home or not.
“We’ve all had a very tough year but people haven’t stopped giving or sharing.
“It’s horrible for the drivers, there’s nothing here no food, no shops it’s like a prison for them. We can’t sit back and do nothing.”
Mr Singh said the drivers received the meals with smiles but added that an urgent solution is needed to the deadlock.
Been a long day on #M20 working with our emergency services but well worth it !
— ravinder singh (@RaviSinghKA) December 22, 2020
French authorities have ended its ban on UK arrivals on condition of a negative Covid-19 test result.
Ramsgate Football Club in Kent also provided meals to the stranded drivers.
The community club delivered 200 pizzas to drivers stranded on the motorway.
James Lawson, the club’s chairman stated: “We are a community club and we want anyone in the community or who passes through to know we will always look after them.
“It’s a very difficult situation everyone wants to be home at Christmas with their families, many seemed young, so we wanted to spread what cheer we could.”
A spokesperson for Kent County Council, the authority responsible for driver welfare, said:
“While French borders remain closed it remains important that people avoid travelling to Kent.”