Meals for 18 Wheels serves meals to truck drivers all year, but the program is preparing for its busiest time as Thanksgiving and Christmas draw closer.
The group has served hundreds of free meals to truckers since its creation in November 2013.
Crystal Schoonmaker, who serves as an administrator on the Facebook page, said the group will be accepting volunteer information for the Thanksgiving holiday until Wednesday night. Meals for 18 Wheels also will be accepting requests for meals from truck drivers on Thursday and Friday since many will not know where they will be until they plan their day, Schoonmaker said.
The group’s many volunteers are preparing to deliver meals on Thanksgiving and Christmas for the third consecutive year.
Meals for 18 Wheels plans to have volunteers available to deliver food on Thursday, Nov. 26; Friday, Nov. 27; Thursday, Dec. 24; Friday, Dec. 25; and Saturday, Dec. 26.
Schoonmaker said the group anticipates providing at least 200 meals during those dates.
“This is very rewarding to me,” said Schoonmaker, whose husband, James, is an OOIDA member and has been a trucker for 15 years.“I don’t get paid, but this is my job. I do it because I know what it’s like to be stuck and not know if you’re going to be able to eat. I know what it’s like for drivers starting off. I come from a family of truckers. This is what I can do to give back.”
Those willing to volunteer are asked to send a personal message to the Facebook page and to fill out a confidential survey with their name, contact number, location and travel radius they are willing to go.
Truckers in need of a meal over the holidays or anytime throughout the year also can send a personal message to the group’s Facebook page or an email to email@example.com.
“If a driver is broken down and doesn’t have access to food or anything of that sort, contact the page,” Schoonmaker said. “We will find a volunteer in that location.
“We really encourage the drivers to contact us if they need help. We understand they have pride. Truckers are full of pride and have every right to be. But be willing to put that aside. Everyone needs to eat.”
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