20 Oregon Trucking Associations, Inc. Oregon Truck Dispatch OTA Celebrates Drivers With a Free Lunch During National Truck Driver Appreciation Week By Christa Wendland, OTA Communications Consultant EACH YEAR WE set aside one week for everyone to celebrate America’s dedicated, hardworking truck drivers. Over 3.6 million men and women get behind the wheel every day to ensure that businesses, communities, retail stores, and eCommerce customers receive what they need, when they need (or want) it. Of course, the trucking industry always appreciates our drivers, no matter which week it is. But OTA took this opportunity to show what our drivers mean to us—with a free lunch! OTA started the Meals for Drivers events during the first few months of the pandemic, when truck stops, restaurants, and other facilities were often not open or had reduced services. Providing a free boxed lunch alongside the freeway may not seem like a big deal, but when food isn’t always readily available, it can Even without the pandemic, truck drivers often give up the comforts and conveniences of home. Meal planning falls down the list of importance when trying to stay on schedule and operating within the numerous regulations a driver must follow. During the week of September 11–17, we fed hundreds of drivers at the ODOT points-of-entry near Cascade Locks, Ashland, and Woodburn. OTA staff, with assistance from ODOT and other truck-side volunteers, handed off boxed lunches as drivers passed through. Tracy Cramer, who is running to represent Oregon House District 22, even joined us in Woodburn. With the generous support from many of our members, we were able to feed even more drivers. We were able to offer even more lunches thanks to the generous support of the companies below. We’d also like to thank ODOT and the volunteers who assisted at each event. be.