TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Commercial drivers who stopped at Florida’s southbound Interstate 75 rest area near Ocala last Thursday (May 7) were treated to a free meal in appreciation for their work on the front lines during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), Florida Trucking Association (FTA) and the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) partnered to provide lunches to essential workers. Meals were sponsored by the FTA, Chick-fil-A, Publix Super Markets and Walmart Transportation.
“FDOT is proud to support Florida’s truck drivers, who have continued to work tirelessly during the fight against COVID-19,” said Florida DOT Secretary Kevin J. Thibault, P.E. “These individuals are on the front lines each day providing vital goods to Floridians during this unprecedented time — keeping shelves stocked, medicine delivered and supplies directed to those most in need. Their selflessness is inspiring, and the department is committed to continuing to support their needs as they serve others.”
During the event, FDOT, FTA, and FHP distributed 500 meals to truck drivers at the southbound Interstate 75 rest area near Ocala at mile marker 346 in Marion County.
“We are always proud of what our member companies and their drivers do every day of the year,” said Ken Armstrong, president of FTA. “Their patriotism and pride in the profession shines brightly during this time, as all Floridians become more aware of the vital role these men and women play in our daily lives. We thank FDOT for joining us today to recognize their work.”
Col. Gene Spaulding, director of FHP, also expressed gratitude to truck drivers for their dedication and professionalism.
“We are privileged to partner with the Safety Management Council Executive Committee, the Florida Trucking Association, and the Florida Department of Transportation in support of our truck drivers,” he said. “It’s our honor to participate in this special recognition to them for the outstanding job they do every day.”
There are approximately 38,000 trucking companies in the state of Florida, and one in 21 jobs in the state is in the trucking industry.
Photo courtesy of the Florida Department of Transportation.