By MARIE NESMITH
Delivering nourishment to fellow truck drivers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, social media personality Brittney Richardson set up shop Monday in Adairsville. The truck driver, who has become a YouTube celebrity, delivered meals at the Interstate 75 Northbound Rest Area in front of her 2019 VNL 860 Volvo truck.
“Commercial trucker media outlet CDLLife wanted to find out how COVID-19 was affecting drivers,” Richardson said. “The organization conducted a survey and found that most drivers were struggling with finding meals at truck stops. We knew we couldn’t solve all of the issues drivers were facing, but we could at least provide a meal.
“We handed out approximately 100-150 meals at the stop,” she said about the Adairsville distribution. “The drivers are always very appreciative, as is the general public. Most people now recognize how important truck drivers are, and they were thanking us for recognizing drivers as well.”
Along with Richardson, the overall effort is receiving assistance from CDLLife, a commercial truck media outlet, and Volvo Trucks North America.
Officially starting May 5, the Fueling Our Heroes outreach — featuring Richardson and Sadie Church of CDLLife — distributed 2,500 meals to truck drivers at 15 sites in Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Pennsylvania during their first road trip.
In addition to providing truck drivers will complimentary meals, they are interacting with the recipients and uploading videos to highlight the challenges of truck drivers in the midst of COVID-19.
According to Fueling Our Heroes’ GoFundMe page, “In a time when our country is told to stay safely at home, our nation’s truck drivers have stepped up. They are putting their lives on the line to keep delivering the valuable supplies we need to keep this country rolling — groceries, medical supplies, toilet paper, hand sanitizer — there’s nothing in this country that isn’t moved by truck.
“Sadly, as our truck drivers have stepped up, our country has let them down. Truck stops have removed many fresh food options and many others have limited choices. Fast food restaurants are closed to walk-in orders, trucks are too big to fit through drive thrus, and drivers aren’t being allowed to walk up to the windows. Even grocery stores are only offering limited hours — for example, if a driver’s route ends later than 8:00 p.m., most grocery stores are closed — this is a common complaint we’re hearing from drivers. America needs to step up and support the heroes who are keeping this country rolling.”
Spanning six days and nine states, their second trip will consist of 11 sites in Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee and Illinois.
Adairsville was the only distribution spot in Georgia where truck drivers were treated to the ready-to-eat meals, which also came in vegan and vegetarian options.
“While drivers are in the spotlight now,” Richardson said, “it’s important to remember that they’re always the heroes behind the scenes who are keeping stores and hospitals stocked with the essentials and supplies that we need to live our day-to day-lives.”
For more information about the Fueling Our Heroes campaign or to donate to its efforts, visit www.gofundme.com/f/cdllife-fueling-our-heroes.
The drive is striving to raise $250,000 for its efforts to fund future meal trips. Every $10,000 that is generated will enable CDLLife to purchase 2,500 meals for truck drivers.
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