Being a truck driver is tough enough without throwing a global pandemic into the mix. Store and restaurant shut-downs have made getting food OTR even trickier for the truck drivers of America, so Dianne and Bill McCarthy of Hernando County, Florida, have stepped in to do their part and are asking their community to do the same.
Bill retired from trucking just before pandemic swept the nation, so the McCarthy’s know all about the trucking life, and they want to do what they can for the essential workers that keep on truckin’ through these tough times – enter ‘Treats for Truckers.’
“My husband and I have started a “charity” (not officially registered) for our OTR truck drivers,” said Dianne.
“I was watching an episode of “Returning the Favor” on Facebook. A lady in Idaho started making treat bags for the drivers in her area. What an awesome idea, so why not start one here? I reached out to her and she has given me the suggestions on where we need to start. So far we have received a few monetary donations. These donations have purchased produce bags that we will fill with items such as: coffee, snacks, popcorn and protein bars,” she said.
With that idea in mind, the McCarthys started a donation page on Facebook with a goal to distribute the care-packages twice a month.
“Truck drivers are still finding it hard to get food or snacks during COVID with many places closed or the dining areas are not open. (Can’t really do a drive-through with a semi),” reads the Facebook page.
“If anyone is interested in helping deliver, package, donate items or money please PM me. I will be taking little bags of snacks and drinks to the local truck stops. I will start once a month but would like to do this weekly. I would also love it if some children would write little notes to put in the bags as well.”
Since creating the page, Dianne and Bill were able to distribute their first round of care-packages on Friday, August 22nd at the Flying J on Hwy 54.
“My husband and I, Bill, were able to make our 1st round of deliveries Saturday afternoon in the pouring down rain. But it was amazing, interesting, and fun,” Dianne said to the Hernando Sun.
“We met people from all over. We met truckers that were by themselves, we met team truckers and even ones with families. It felt really good to give to those who I feel are family, it put Bill and I back into a place close enough to feel we were on the road again.”
“We definitely miss being out seeing our beautiful country,” she added.
The McCarthys hope to continue handing out bags to the truck drivers that work so hard to keep us all supplied with the things we need, even in the face of something as serious as the coronavirus.
“Bill and I will continue to hand out bags to wherever we can. I carry some around in my car; that way if the opportunity arises, I have something available to hand out,” explained Dianne.
“I can’t thank these men and women enough, for continuing this job being on the road for weeks on end to make sure that we have supplies we need. Things people don’t even consider, how they get (food into) the grocery store and then into their home. Without truck drivers, this would not be the case.”
Anyone interested in supporting the cause can visit the Facebook donation page, here.