LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KARK) — The Arkansas Trucking Association has started something new for truck drivers during COVID-19. They’re bringing food options to them during their trips across the state.
We talked with them and the a truck driver.
When we talk about essential workers we typically think of health care workers, and police officers, but the state of Arkansas has shifted their focus a little bit and the first state to start something unique to help commercial truck drivers.
“It’s surprising how many folks actually look out for us now, that you didn’t really realize cared,” said Charles Hammett.
A sense of relief for truck driver Charles Hammett after the state did something that’s never been done before.
“Food trucks have come to set up at a state rest area, which is somewhat unique because typically those types of things aren’t allowed on state property,” said Shannon Newton the president of Arkansas Trucking Association.
Hammett whose headed to Shreveport says it’s nice to stop and get food and avoid big crowds.
“This comes in real handy because it’s easy to get in and out of the rest area now… You just get something and get back on the road,” said Hammett.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Hammett still has to work.
“I haul US mail and it’s gotta move… Your bills and everything else,” said Hammett.
But stopping to eat has never been easy.
“A lot of drive-thrus won’t let you do that, if you’re not in a vehicle they won’t let you go up to the drive-thru, so you have to look and see where you can and can’t stop,” said Hammett.
And that’s why the Arkansas Trucking Association stepped in with this idea.
“It’s interesting to have the roll that truck drivers play in our lives highlighted. If much, we don’t really think about how the food gets to the grocery store the medicine gets to the pharmacy or the furniture gets to the store until it affects you,” said Newton.
The situation is a win win, because it also helps local businesses who need to work.
“A lot of cancelations came in with COVID so this is benefiting us as far as making a living still and also filling our truckers,” said Jennifer McKinzie the owner of BowMcks in Bryant.
Arkansas was the first to ask federal highways for permission to have food trucks and ever since other states have followed suit. Different food trucks will be here every day for the month of April.