By Sean Delaney -:
The Sikh community has rallied together to make sure truckers, currently stuck due to the border closure, don’t go hungry.
More than 800 free hot meals were made this afternoon by the Gravesend Gurdwara who turned around the massive order in just under three hours.
Inside the Gravesend Gurdwara as volunteers assemble 800 meals for stranded lorry drivers in Kent.
Volunteers rallied together at the Gurdwara’s Langar kitchen to put together the dishes at short notice.
They are working with Sikh humanitarian relief charity Khalsa Aid to come to the aid of lorry drivers currently trapped due to the closure of the border at Dover.
Temple leaders received the call around midday and sprung into action as part of a collective effort with local authorities including Kent Police and Kent County Council.
Spokesman for the Guru Nanak Darbar Jagdev Singh Virdee said: “They [Khalsa Aid] got in touch this morning about 12 o’clock and by 2.30pm 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.”
More than 500 chickpea curries have been made for truckers stranded in Kent
Together, volunteers rallied to make 500 chickpea curries and 300 mushroom and pasta dishes.
Khalsa Aid founder Ravinder Singh then arranged to pick up the meals from the Gravesend Gurdwara and deliver them to the hungry truckers with the help of a Kent Police escort.
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The act of kindness comes as more than 1,000 HGVs are parked in the county, filling laybys and roadsides as well as the 4,000-capacity airport site.
Meanwhile talks continue with the French government to reopen the border as more than 1,000 lorries remain stranded in Kent, amid fears the new coronavirus strain is ‘out of control’.
All freight and passenger traffic has been banned from entering France with hauliers redirected to a makeshift lorry park at Manston Airport and plans being drawn up to test drivers before they cross the Channel in a mass programme co-ordinated by the military.
Hundreds of lorries are also sat on the M20 after Operation Brock went live.
The coastguard was today seen driving down the M20 in between rows of queueing lorries and handing out bottled water.
Kent County Council, with the help of Kent Resilience Forum agencies, distributed snacks and drinking water yesterday ahead of drivers being able to access welfare facilities at Manston as part Operation Brock planning.
At Dover this morning drivers were bursting with frustration and honking horns as they approach the port only to be sent packing.