Randall-Reilly, the parent company of Truckers News, Overdrive, and Commercial Carrier Journal partnered with Chick-fil-A and Coca-Cola to provide truck drivers with a free meal, bottled water and more Tuesday, May 12, at the Interstate 20/59 rest area near Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
The event came together after Randall-Reilly reached out to the Chick-Fil-A franchise in Northport, Alabama. Ashley Gill, franchise owner of the location, said she had just met with other Chick-fil-A franchisees in the Tuscaloosa area about doing something for truck drivers when Randall-Reilly reached out.
Drivers could either park and walk to the Chick-fil-A tent, have food brought to their truck or drive through the rest area, and have their care package handed to them in their cab near the rest area’s exit. Truckers received a boxed lunch from Chick-fil-A, bottled water donated by Coca-Cola, and a care package from Randall-Reilly that included several snacks and other goodies.
“Truck drivers keep us in business,” Gill said. “We have them deliver all of our food and supplies overnight. Our locations tend to stay busy, and our lots are small, so we know it’s a hard job. We’re grateful for the continuity and consistency of truckers’ service all the time, but especially right now.”
The companies also partnered with the Alabama Department of Transportation to set up signs on the interstate to alert drivers of the free food at the rest area.
Keith and Robin Black, a husband-wife team for Estes Express Lines, said the event was one of the first times they have felt appreciated during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We haven’t seen much appreciation,” Robin said. “A lot of places won’t let us walk up to get food at [the] drive-thru. This is a really nice gesture by Chick-fil-A. It lets us know people are thinking about us and appreciate us.”