Randall-Reilly, the parent company of Overdrive, partnered with Chick-fil-A and Coca-Cola to provide truck drivers with a free meal, bottled water and more Tuesday at the I-20/59 rest area near Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
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 goodies.
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.”
Wesley Drake, a driver for Abilene Motor Express, said “this is about it” when it comes to appreciation events for truckers that he’s come across during the pandemic. He said his carrier has been good about providing snacks and water when drivers come through, along with some shippers and receivers he’s been to.
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.
“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.
More photos of the event can be seen below: