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Sikh volunteers deliver almost 2,000 meals to stranded lorry drivers in Kent

Written by on 23 December 2020

A group of Sikh volunteers have delivered almost 2,000 hot meals to lorry drivers stranded in Kent.

Volunteers from faith-based group Khalsa Aid have travelled around 210 miles (338km) to take warm food to hauliers hit by the travel ban between the UK and France.

Almost 5,000 lorries have been stuck after France stopped them crossing due to the new variant of coronavirus in the UK.

Around 3,800 lorries are at Manston, just north of Dover

The large vehicles have been lined up on the M20 motorway and at Manston airfield since Sunday night, with limited access to food and drink.

Drivers have been living out of their trucks for days and frustrations are growing over when they will be able to get going.

Khalsa Aid founder Ravi Singh told Sky News that his group of “amazing volunteers” from Guru Nanak Gurdwara in Gravesend, Kent helped cook 500 chickpea curry with rice meals and 300 tomato and mushroom pasta dishes.

The group also received a donation of 1,000 pizzas from a local Sikh businessman in Sittingbourne.

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Volunteers were given a police escort along the motorway to help hand out the food.

Mr Singh said that giving free food, especially to those in need, is intrinsic to the practice of Sikhism.

KhalsaAid received a police escort as they delivered hot meals to the lorry drivers in Kent

“In our faith there’s a community kitchen called langar – where anyone can come and eat, regardless of race or religion.

“That’s what inspires us to help people.

“The drivers are very happy to see us and the food. It’s tough for them not knowing what’s happening.

“I’ve seen how a hot meal can lift people.

KhalsaAid founder Ravi Singh said ‘you don’t have to be a Christian to believe in the season of goodwill’

“With Christmas around the corner, you don’t have to be a Christian to believe in the season of goodwill – you can be a Sikh, Muslim, Hindu, whatever… as long as you’re a good human being.”

He added: “As Sikhs we pray for the wellbeing of all mankind every day.”

Elsewhere, Ramsgate Football Club have also handed out 200 pizzas to lorry drivers stuck on the motorway.

UK and French governments reached a deal late on Tuesday to reopen the border – but lorry drivers must test negative for COVID-19 before they can travel.

A series of scuffles have broken out in Dover as lorry drivers stranded at the Kent port clashed with police, with one man lying down in front of a truck.