Truckers need to eat: Semi-truck drivers face food challenges amid restaurant closures | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Truckers need to eat: Semi-truck drivers face food challenges amid restaurant closures

Stephen Klettke has a few places he stops at to eat while on shift, but has challenges finding a decent meal with recent restaurant closures.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Stephen Klettke

A Vancouver Island semi-truck driver is eating a lot of Chinese food these days as restaurant closures have made it difficult for him to find food on the go.

Stephen Klettke transports building supplies, along with other essentials items, across B.C., Alberta and the U.S. with Barry and Smith Trucking, a hauling company based in Penticton.

With provinces declaring states of emergency, some fast-food restaurants have shut their doors, making it challenging for truckers because they can't go through drive-thrus in their vehicles, he said.

“Last week, I tried to get take out from Boston Pizza, and found the Boston Pizza in Cranbrook has shut down until further notice. They’ve even taken it off the app so I can’t order it online,” he said. “It has definitely has not been as easy as has in the past.”

READ MORE: 'Enough is enough,' Trudeau says to Canadians ignoring COVID-19 advice

But there are some places that are stepping up to help, like the Merritt A&W, which is allowing walk-throughs in their drive-thru, and taking food to the truck drivers if they park along the street, said owner Jason Bell.

Supervisor Christine Wiegand originally came up with the idea and posted it on Facebook, he said. The post has been shared more than 300 times.

“If it wasn’t for the truckers, we wouldn’t be getting our products here either so we’re very thankful,” Bell said.

Truckers are also connecting online to find places that are catering to drivers, and trucker wives are even offering home-cooked meals, Klettke said. Through social media, he’s seen posts about some U.S. police departments that are offering to point truckers in the right direction to a food stop.

“There’s been some changes to restaurants, but it’s been difficult,” he said.

Klettke recommends eating from Lucky Star Restaurant in Cranbook, Fork N' Chopstix in Langley, the Mandarin Garden Buffet in Chilliwack. Lisa's Lakehouse in Christina Lake is also catering to truck drivers right now, he said.

“We can only pack so much food in the truck at a time. We have limited space and a limited ability to store,” he said.

He’s concerned about having to rely on grocery stores if fast food places close as he wants to avoid getting sick. It’s also hard for a semi-truck to park at a grocery store, he said.

Klettke wants to remind everyone to stay home, because truckers can’t.

READ MORE: Three COVID-19 deaths in B.C., 472 total cases, says provincial health officer

“We can’t stop or this entire country will stop… hopefully when all this is over the general public remembers that we kept going,” he said.

“The amount of support for truck drivers has been overwhelming. And I can only hope that this carries on.”


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