OKLAHOMA CITY — Truckers who will be driving through Oklahoma City Friday, March 20, can receive a free lunch during the “Sandwiches 4 Semis” event from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. CT at Exit 136 (both north- and south-bound ramps) on Interstate 35.
The event, sponsored and hosted by TBS Factoring Service, was organized in response to a nationwide outcry from truckers who are having trouble finding open restaurants during the global COVID-19 pandemic. Drivers stopping by will be treated to a sack lunch featuring a sub sandwich, chips and a bottle of water — and they won’t even have to get out of their trucks, according to TBS Factoring Service’s CEO, Jennifer Lickteig.
“Truckers are American heroes. This is just a small way for us to let drivers see that they are appreciated and that their efforts are valued,” she said. “It’s nothing big, just a grab-and-go lunch, but it’s our way of saying ‘thank you.’”
The pre-bagged meals will be prepared by locally owned sandwich shops and franchises, and drivers are assured that each sandwich will be prepared by food-service professionals using safe food-handling techniques. In addition, the TBS employees who will be handing out the meals will wear food-service gloves as an added precaution.
“When we started thinking about the normal ways truck drivers sustain themselves and how we could help, we immediately started to see the challenges they face in finding parking, accessible restaurants and prepared food, not just now, but every single day,” Lickteig said.
In addition to helping the nation’s drivers in a time of crisis, Lickteig said the event helps benefit local businesses that rely on lunchtime traffic from the offices around them, many of which have temporarily closed as employees work from home in an effort to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.
“If we can give away 1,000 sandwiches on a Friday, that’s a great investment on our part,” she said. “We would challenge other companies and organizations to host ‘Sandwiches 4 Semis’ events during the crisis.”
Lickteig also has a message for all the consumers out there.
“If you eat it, wear it or buy it in a store, a trucker hauled it there,” she said.
“And while most of America shelters in place, truckers are hard at work, putting their own health on the line and making sure we have everything we need to survive in these difficult times,” she continued. “We can’t feed them all, but hopefully this will help draw attention to the problem — and maybe get restaurants to change their short-sighted policies (regarding semi trucks).”