As Westchester County, N.Y., one of the nation’s hotspots for the COVID-19 virus since March, began to open this week, uncertainty has not diminished, particularly as other states are proving it is reckless to jump head-first back into a “normal” routine. To counteract this doubt, the trucking industry continues to do good for its people. Here are five good things that happened in trucking this week.
USDOT to distribute 2.1M cloth facial coverings to the trucking industry
The Trump Administration announced millions of cloth facial coverings will be sent to workers in critical sectors of America’s economy, with approximately 2.1 million to be sent to the trucking industry.
“Transportation workers are on the front lines of keeping our transportation systems operational during this public health emergency, and their well-being and safety is paramount,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), alongside U.S. the Department of Homeland Security, has been working with states, industries, and stakeholders to ensure that transportation workers receive the support they need. The cloth facial coverings secured by the Federal Emergency Management Agency will be sent out over the coming weeks through the U.S. Postal Service.
Mack, ATA deliver vital goods to local communities
To assist those impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, Mack Trucks and the American Trucking Associations (ATA) are partnering with the American Logistics Aid Network (ALAN) to deliver vital supplies, such as food and personal-care items, to nonprofit organizations that distribute these goods locally.
Two 2019 Mack Anthem trucks, which Mack provided to the ATA as part of its sponsorship of the Share the Road and Workforce Heroes programs, are now delivering shipments of supplies between nonprofit organizations, including Feed the Children and Joshua’s Heart Foundation and others, with the help of professional truck drivers from ATA member companies who have volunteered their time to make the deliveries.
Photo: Mack Trucks
Feed the Children ensures its tens of thousands of pounds of food and beverages, personal-care items and laundry detergent located in its LaVergne, Tenn., warehouse make its way swiftly to nonprofit partners around the country. It was critical to them to make sure the ever-growing needs of those affected by the pandemic could be met.
One of those community partners is the Miami-based Joshua’s Heart Foundation. Founded in 2005 by a then 4-year-old Joshua Williams, the organization is dedicated to the fight against global hunger and poverty.
“Our mission is to empower needy people to improve their quality of life by providing them necessities like groceries and personal items,” said Williams, Joshua’s Heart Foundation founder and chief change-maker. “Like all organizations, the pandemic has affected our ability to receive and distribute goods, making the shipments from Feed the Children through ALAN critical to our efforts.”
Dairy Queen delivers back to FedEx
On April 30, FedEx driver Jodan Price drove to Dairy Queen and picked up four ice cream cupcakes when he learned one of his customers, Emma Paternoster, was celebrating her sixth birthday in quarantine.
“He felt bad that she wouldn’t have a birthday like everyone else,” said Emma’s mom, Liz. “He said, ‘You know, if we weren’t in this situation, she’d be at school with her friends.’”
pic.twitter.com/S4pFlVe6BQ— Mrs. Paternoster (@Mrs_ConCon1787) April 30, 2020
After his delivery, Price left to continue on with his deliveries without leaving his name or contact information with the family, so Liz took to Twitter to thank the mystery FedEx driver.
After the sweet gesture vent viral on social media, Dairy Queen returned the favor, delivering ice cream to Price and the whole FedEx crew, proving, even during a pandemic, how infectious the spread of good news can be.
Jodan’s sweet gesture made everyone smile, so now it’s our turn to deliver the happy back to the @FedEx crew 😊! #HappyTastesGood https://t.co/JZmrcc9Zcl pic.twitter.com/ckKz8FwBQ4— Dairy Queen (@DairyQueen) May 26, 2020
Premier Trailer Leasing donates 40 refrigerated trailers to Feeding America
Along with its long-time supplier, Thermo King, to help combat hunger during the COVID-19 pandemic, Premier Trailer Leasing is providing free rental of up to 40 Thermo King refrigerated trailers to Feeding America. These 53-foot trailers have a 40,000-pound perishable food capacity, allowing this partnership to help secure, store and distribute more than 6 million meals this summer. Thermo King is also contributing funds to Feeding America food banks through its We Move Food grant program.
“We at Premier Trailer Leasing are so happy that we can use our resources to help communities around the U.S. and provide meals to those who need them most,” said Jim Aubuchon, president and CEO of Premier Trailer Leasing. “We’re incredibly proud to partner with Feeding America and show our appreciation for the important work they are doing to end hunger in our nation.”
Did you know that 2/3 of Feeding America food banks across the country are accepting volunteers? Read how you can help your neighbors facing hunger by volunteering at your community’s food bank, or from home: https://t.co/xDlE4n3jbe pic.twitter.com/uZ9I25TE4g— Feeding America (@FeedingAmerica) May 28, 2020
According to a report by Feeding America, the number of food-insecure children could escalate to 18 million because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The highest total ever reported by USDA in the 25 years that it has been measuring food insecurity was 17.2 million in 2009 at the height of the Great Recession.
“The coronavirus pandemic has put a record strain on our network of food banks with an increased demand for food assistance in communities large and small,” said Blake Thompson, chief supply chain officer at Feeding America. “This donation will help food banks around the country store much-needed food for communities that are struggling with hunger.”
Get $25 off an oil change at TA Truck Service locations
National Truck Protection Co Inc. and Premium 2000+ commercial truck warranties are offering a promotion of $25 off any oil change at TA Truck Service locations across the U.S. for NTP/Premium 2000+ customers who are also members of TravelCenters of America’s loyalty program, UltraONE.
“This COVID-19 event has put undue pressure on our single truck and small fleet customers,” said Wade Bontrager, CEO of National Truck Protection Co. Inc. “Some are stressed with long hours hauling critical supplies, medical equipment and consumer goods, while others are rethinking their business model because work has slowed or stopped. An oil change is one of the most important preventive maintenance tasks to keep a truck running smoothly. This offer not only saves our customers money, but it’s our way to thank them for all they do, every day, to keep America moving.”
“When NTP/Premium 2000+ asked us to help facilitate an offer to help their drivers maintain their vehicles, our team was 100% in,” said Drew Kortyna, vice president of truck service at TravelCenters of America. “The unprecedented COVID-19 situation has made the lives of many truck drivers very difficult. Our team is committed to ensuring professional drivers have access to our Truck Service shops, as well as a variety of food options, showers and other services while visiting our sites.”
“The trucking industry absolutely makes this country tick,” Bontrager added. “We truly appreciate the amazing contributions that every driver and owner operator is making for all of us right now.”