LANGLEY, B.C. – After the success of bringing food trucks to commercial drivers in the Kamloops, B.C., area, a new website will launch today to provide information on services across the country.
“With the unexpected growth of the Meals for Truck Drivers B.C. initiative, we have found that what simply started as a Facebook page isn’t nearly good enough to respond to the volume of interest and questions we have been getting,” said Greg Munden, president of Munden Ventures and one of the Kamloops businessmen who started the local initiative.
Through the new website – www.mealsfortruckers.ca – drivers will be able to access information through their smartphones, tablets, laptops, or PCs.
“It will list, and provide specific directions to, food tuck at card locks, restaurants that specifically focus on serving commercial drivers, and other facilities that focus on serving our industry,” said Dave Earle, president and CEO of the B.C. Trucking Association (BCTA). “For businesses that want to be listed, there will be an opportunity to post where they operate and what services they offer.”
Munden said because the provincial effort grew so rapidly, which had a great deal of support from the BCTA from the beginning, his group of Kamloops business people have had to transition administration of the Canada-wide effort over to the BCTA, which now have dedicated staff working on it.
“We envision a website that acts as one central location for trucking companies and drivers to find information about services that are available to them regardless of where they are in Canada,” said Munden. “This will be a website where businesses of all types can register to let drivers know what is available, during what hours, and drivers will be able to be confident in being able to access those services without the risk of showing up and being turned away, not just now during Covid-19, but also in the future.”
The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) has also lent a hand, collecting information from across the country about what services businesses are offering to truck drivers.
“In this current environment, the public is beginning to understand the critical part our industry plays in our society.”Dave Earle, BCTA
Earle said the rapid growth of the Kamloops food truck initiative – which is available at five locations in B.C. – is recognition for the industry and the job drivers are doing during the pandemic.
“For many years, we’ve operated unseen and unrecognized, but in this current environment, the public is beginning to understand the critical part our industry plays in our society,” said Earle. “The difficulties that drivers have faced during this crisis – a lack of access to basic facilities and food – really spoke to the broader public, and they responded.”
Munden agreed, saying associations like the BCTA and CTA have long searched for ways to have professional drivers recognized and receive the respect they deserve for the job they do.
“The outpouring of support and positive view of truck drivers during this pandemic from the general public and all levels of government has been amazing,” he said. “It has quickly become apparent to everyone that grocery store shelves, the medications at pharmacies, medical equipment in hospitals, and everything else needed in today’s society, arrives by truck and the professional drivers who make it happen.”
In addition to informing drivers about where to find food, the new national website will also include unique opportunities for co-workers, companies, partners, or neighbors to recognize drivers working during the Covid-19 crisis.
“Anyone will be able to nominate a professional driver who they think deserves recognition as a ‘Highway Hero’ online, and include a picture and a brief description of the work they are doing during this crisis,” Munden explained. “Highway heroes will be promoted and displayed both on the website and through social media as way of saying ‘thanks’ to the often unrecognized profession.”
Earle thanked and commended the individuals and businesses that have stepped up to support drivers during this unprecedented time.
“The response has been fantastic, and we’re going to keep working hard to make sure every driver not only has access to the facilities they need,” said Earl, “but to make sure that they also feel recognized and supported.”
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