As support is rallied for essential workers across the country, truckers, arguably some of the important, are finding it difficult to find places to wash their hands and eat on their routes.
As Canadians hunker down, quarantine or otherwise social distance themselves it’s understandable to be wary of anyone travelling long distances at this time. However, truckers cannot work from home and the services they provide keep store shelves stocked with food, medicine and toilet paper. Without them, our store shelves would be far more empty following the panic buying that took place in early March.
So with restaurants and other public places closed down due to this pandemic, truckers are struggling now to find places to eat and use the washroom on their long drives. However, there are some who are coming together on Facebook to help them out.
The founder of the Restaurants Serving Drivers in Western Canada Amberly Terrill knows the troubles truckers can face all too well as her family has a long history within the industry. Currently living in Nanton, Alberta with her 100 Mile House born husband Drew Terrill and their two-year-old Josiah Terrill, Terrill herself works at the local truck stop and both her father and her uncle drive trucks.
“It’s always been important in my family just because, well, without truckers we have nothing,” Terrill said. “It’s always been really important to me to support truckers.”
Terrill said that both her father and uncle have been having a hard time since the COVID-19 pandemic started shutting down large parts of the country. They’ve had to go hungry a few times either because they couldn’t a place to eat or because they were denied service because they’re obviously unable to take their rigs through the drive-thru.
Her father also told her one of the most important things truckers want right now is a list of places where they can wash their hands or shower. Many places are barring them from using the restrooms, however, with Terrill finds counter-intuitive for the truckers who wish to avoid possibly spreading the disease but are now unable to wash their hands.
In an effort to help keep herself and her dad informed about where he could go for a meal and access to a restroom, Terrill started up a Facebook group to gather tips on what places were open and where. As her uncle is operating in Saskatchewan she decided to make the group encompass all of Western Canada.
“I was kind of shocked at how fast it blew up,” Terrill said.
There Terrill gathers information from her father, uncle and other Facebook groups to provide a list of places that are still serving truckers in Western Canada and encourages others to do the same. This includes places who are offering delivery for a reasonable price as drivers can’t park in certain spots but if the food can be delivered then that will work for them.
“Drivers aren’t looking for a free meal, they’re just looking for something they can eat,” Terrill said.
So far, however, Terrill said she’s begun finding quite a few that are willing to help out be it by offering delivery, a place to park, or even showers and washrooms to use. She finds it heartening to see people recognizing the importance of drivers in keeping us supplied with goods, especially during these stressful times.
When this is all done, Terrill said that truckers will remember which places helped them out during the pandemic and will make an effort to go to them regularly when normalcy returns. She encourages anyone who knows of a place serving drivers or willing to do so to post it on her Facebook group so the word can be spread.