Everyone should get to enjoy a warm Thanksgiving meal, but sometimes it’s hard for that to happen for some truck drivers.
Meals for 18 Wheels wants to make sure that wherever a trucker may be, they can have that holiday meal.
Crystal Schoonmaker, who is part of the organization, works year round with other volunteers to make sure drivers don’t go hungry.
“If a driver finds themselves stranded because they’re broke down or they don’t have access to food where they’re at or they have a financial setback, they can message the page and we will access our volunteers that we already have information for in the drivers’ area and we’ll make contact with them and exchange information so the drivers can get fed that day,” Schoonmaker said. “If not, we’ll put a post on our Facebook page and hopefully someone will come through.”
For Thanksgiving, Meals for 18 Wheels is working with a team of over 1,000 volunteers, who meet truckers and deliver the meal to them. Volunteers’ contact information is kept confidential unless the volunteer gives consent for their it to be shared; the administrators act as the central point of contact for volunteers and drivers.
On Thanksgiving day, the group’s administrators will put up a post for drivers to provide a location and estimated time of when and where they’ll be stopping or where they are. Then the administrator will locate volunteers in proximity to those drivers. They are hoping to feed between 200 and 250 drivers.
If at any point either the volunteer or driver feels uncomfortable with the situation, they are not obligated to continue, said Schoonmaker. If drivers are worried about the food, they are not required to eat it. The Meals for 18 Wheels administrators encourage all interactions take place indoors, for safety reasons.
Schoonmaker said driver feedback has been positive.
“Drivers absolutely love it. They’re appreciative that somebody’s out there willing to take the time to spend with them, even if it’s for a couple minutes chit-chatting,” Schoonmaker said.
To find out how to volunteer or request a meal, visit Meals for 18 Wheels on Facebook here.