Hauling freight during the holidays can sometimes mean truck drivers spend Thanksgiving and Christmas alone in their cab.
The Boise Stage Stop in Boise, Idaho, wants to prevent that by offering drivers a free holiday dinner.
“They have our entire economy in the bed of their truck,” said Samantha McDonald, a Boise Stage Stop representative. “They move the food we eat, the furniture we sleep on, the clothes we wear, the toys we play with. They’re the ones that are moving it from Point A to Point B and bringing it from the manufacturer to the store, and they’re really the ones that are responsible for keeping the holidays moving and they don’t really get the holidays. Thanksgiving and Christmas are the busiest times for things to be moving, which means those truckers are out there working.”
The independent truck stop has hosted driver appreciation days every year on Thanksgiving and Christmas day, for over 10 years. All drivers with a valid CDL receive a free meal as a show of appreciation, regardless of whether they are working at that moment.
“A lot of them spend the holidays away from their family,” McDonald said. “They don’t get to go home for sometimes months at a time, so this is just a small way for us to say ‘Hey, we understand your hard work. We appreciate what you’re doing, and if you’re in the area, come eat with us because we want to say thank you and treat you to a lovely dinner.”
The meal includes turkey, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie and more. Boise Stage Stop also raffles off prizes for drivers throughout the night. Big ticket prizes from previous raffles included a television and a Bluetooth headset. Prizes are donated from various vendors in the trucking industry. McDonald said they don’t want any drivers leaving empty-handed.
“We want to make sure that every driver is walking away with something,” McDonald said.
The Boise Stage Stop has a 24-hour convenience store, 24-hour laundry facility, shower rooms with separate tub and shower, diesel fueling island, gas station, theater room, arcade and full service restaurant. They are one of the longest ongoing businesses in Idaho, having been founded in 1891.
The truck stop is located off Interstate 84’s Exit 71 at 23801 S. Orchard St. in Boise.