As reports have circulated about truckers having a hard time getting food on the road during the COVID-19 pandemic, some groups and companies have stepped up to help out.
With many dine-in restaurants limited to drive-through or carry-out by state and local government decree, and empty shelves at grocery stores making it hard for truckers to buy food to keep in their trucks, truck drivers have reported difficulty in getting food on the road. As news has spread through local and national media of this dilemma, residents, corporations, and associations have been taking action:
The Iowa Motor Truck Association is providing 1,000 complimentary boxed lunches for truck drivers this week. Distribution will be at two different weigh stations on I-80 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesday, March 24, will be at the Jasper County Scale; Wednesday, March 25, at the Dallas County Scale. The scales will be open for lunch distribution only – there will be no enforcement activities. Iowa DOT will be providing signage at the ramp to the scales as well as traffic control if needed. The distribution will be set up as a “drive through/drive by” scenario to comply with CDC guidelines.
“We want to show our appreciation to the professional men and women that are playing a critically important role as the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds,” said Brenda Neville, president abd CEO of the Iowa Motor Truck Association. “We believe that providing a boxed lunch seemed to be the best way to achieve that goal since getting food on the road has become a bit more difficult in the current situation.”
In Arkansas, a Little Rock fire department is offering free hot meals for truckers at no cost. Over the weekend, the Quail Creek Fire Department posted a photo to Facebook showing one of its pickup trucks with a sign directing truckers to Exit 7 off Interstate 530 for the free food and coffee. Read more.
In Jackson, Tennessee, some local residents gathered with boxes of sandwiches and chips and handed food out to drivers at Exit 87 on Interstate 40. Read more.
On March 20, TBS Factoring Service set up a food stop on Interstate 35 in Oklahoma City, at both the north and southbound ramps of Exit 136. TBS employees served “grab and go” sack lunches (sub, chips and water) from 11-1 p.m.
In the Texas panhandle, a group of local volunteers and bar-b-quers, led by a former truck driver, served up brisket, pulled pork, and ribs, with sides of beans, potato salad, and homemade rolls, plus bottled water. Read more.
In Morgantown, West Virginia, the 13-year-old son of a truck driver used his allowance money to buy peanut butter, bread, Slim Jim’s, fresh fruit, and chips, make sack lunches and hand them out at the West Virginia Welcome Center rest stop on I-79 south of the Pennsylvania border. He plans to be back. Read more.