Sikh Community Prepares 6,000 Free Meals for Stranded Truck Drivers

Lorry Drivers Stranded in Dover

Photo: Dover, England, UK. 2020. Stock Photos from Peter TitmussE/Shutterstock

Ever since the news of the fast-spreading variant of coronavirus, France closed its borders to people traveling from the UK. This meant that thousands of truck drivers were left stranded at the Port of Dover in Kent, England, with a huge backlog of trucks stretching along the M20 and beyond. France reopened its border on Wednesday last week, allowing those with a negative COVID-19 test to pass through. Many trucks have been cleared for departure, and the long queue continues to wane. However, there are still thousands of drivers left with nothing to do but wait.

Many of these drivers couldn’t get home to see their families over the holidays—let alone have a Christmas dinner. That’s why Khalsa Aid, a Sikh humanitarian relief charity, made sure they could have a hot meal. On December 22, Khalsa Aid called Guru Nanak Darbar, one of the largest Gurdwaras in Europe representing the Sikh community of Gravesend, Kent, and asked them to prepare hundreds of meals. The community quickly prepared a total of 500 chickpea curries and 300 mushroom and pasta dishes. The meals were collected by Khalsa Aid, along with a police escort and volunteers, and were handed out to the hungry drivers.

Jagdev Singh Virdee, a spokesman for Guru Nanak Darbar says, “[Khalsa Aid] got in touch this morning about 12 o’clock and by 2.30pm they came to collect the food.” He continues, “We made some phone calls to get volunteers together because we are already doing Langar, where we deliver to vulnerable people.” Sikhism is all about helping others, so the community at Guru Nanak Darbar are well-equipped to produce food at such a large scale. Manpreet Singh Dhaliwal, president of the Gurdwara says, “That’s just part of Sikhism. It’s sharing your wealth with others. So we’ve got plenty of stock, and we’d love to share it with other people.”

Since the initial 800 meals, more volunteers have gotten together to prepare even more dishes. As of writing, the community has now prepared over 6,000 hot meals. Khalsa Aid has even been working closely with the emergency services and a local Domino's Pizza store to provide thousands of pizzas to the drivers. The incredible kindness and hard work of the Sikh community is bound to have made a huge difference to the stranded drivers. Let’s hope they all get home soon!

Members of the Sikh community have provided thousands of hot meals for truck drivers stranded at Port of Dover in Kent, England due to border closures.


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Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara Gravesend: Website | Facebook | Instagram | YouTube
h/t: [LADbible]

All images via Khalsa Aid and Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara Gravesend.

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Emma Taggart

Emma Taggart is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met. Originally from Northern Ireland, she is an artist now based in Berlin. After graduating with a BA in Fashion and Textile Design in 2013, Emma decided to combine her love of art with her passion for writing. Emma has contributed to various art and culture publications, with an aim to promote and share the work of inspiring modern creatives. While she writes every day, she’s also devoted to her own creative outlet—Emma hand-draws illustrations and is currently learning 2D animation.
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