The drive to feed truckers during pandemic has begun

Cookshack Cravings owner Deanna Bell and employee Chrissy Philawan served up their food truck fare on the weekend at the Chevron in Kamloops

A move to ensure truck drivers are fed began on the weekend.

The initiative, spearheaded by the owner of a Kamloops transportation company, aims to provide long-haul truckers with food and restrooms at a time when fast food restaurants have closed their doors.

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Greg Munden, owner of Munden Ventures, said the project came together quickly.

“We’ve got a real problem, especially with long-haul drivers,” Munden told KTW. “They’ve been declared an essential service. They’re out there delivering food to grocery stores, medicine — the things people need. These drivers are running into bigger and bigger problems on the road when it comes to food and restrooms.”

With fast food restaurants operating drive-thru only and most with policies that prohibit walk-through service, Munden said truckers are being left in the lurch.

Munden’s solution is mobilizing another sector heavily impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic — food trucks.

Starting this past weekend at locations in Kamloops and Chilliwack, food truck vendors set up in Chevron card lock lots alongside temporary restroom facilities. The Kamloops location is on Versatile Drive in Pineview Valley, right off the Copperhead Drive exit on Highway 1.

feed truckers
Cookshack Cravings owner Deanna Bell (right) and employee Chrissy Philawan serve up their food truck fare on Sunday, April 5, at the Chevron at Highway 1 and Copperhead Drive. Truckers in need of food services during the COVID-19 pandemic have been all but shut out of their usual culinary haunts. - Dave Eagles/KTW

Cookshack Cravings owner Deanna Bell and worker Chrissy Philawan served up their food truck fare on the weekend at the Chevron in Kamloops.

Thanks to a $2,500 cheque from Kamloops company Ocean Trailer, owner Bell said she is able to offer free meals to truckers (others can purchase meals, as well), until the money runs out or other businesses step up.

For veteran long haul driver Ray Dyck, the complimentary meal during his brief stop in Kamloops was very much appreciated.

He heard about Cookshack Cravings food truck from his wife in Winnipeg.

“After 46 years, I still can not eat inside my truck,” Dyck said.

Bell handed Dyck his Bratwurst Jerk Taco with a genuine smile, able to counter the truckers’ banter well.

She is her own biggest promoter — reciting menu items with great acclaim, to the growing line of hungry haulers.

After two days getting set up with power and gas, Bell took Monday and Tuesday off and expects to be back at the Chevron from Wednesdays through Saturdays going forward.

Munden said it's good to see the broader business community acknowledge the significant role trucking plays in Canada’s economy.

“Unfortunately, it takes a crisis for people to understand the crucial role truck drivers play,” he said. “Like we always say, ‘If you got it, it came by truck’ — whether it’s first mile or last mile.”

© Kamloops This Week


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