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Coronavirus: Efforts launched to help B.C. truckers access food, washrooms during pandemic

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Coronavirus: Efforts launched to help B.C. truckers access food, washrooms during pandemic – Apr 2, 2020

Coronavirus closures and restrictions are creating problems for truck drivers who are having trouble accessing food and washrooms on the road.

Now efforts are underway in B.C. to help truckers find the support they need to keep driving and make sure communities are supplied.

READ MORE: Alberta urges relief for hungry truckers ‘absolutely critical to the supply lines’

A BC Trucking Association member is spearheading an effort to set up food trucks at some B.C. card lock locations to provide truckers with a hot meal.

Initially the plan is to offer food at card locks in Kamloops and the Fraser Valley, and if it is well-received, to expand the service.

Association president Dave Earle feels the situation is improving with some restaurants allowing truck drivers to walk through drive-through windows or order for pickup through an app.

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READ MORE: B.C. truckers having trouble due to COVID-19 closures

“Different restaurant chains have really stepped up and created new protocols for drivers to use,” said Earle

“We’ve also seen restaurants open the doors for truck drivers, and truck drivers only, to use the rest room facilities recognizing the important work that these drivers are doing.”

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Truckers work around the clock to keep supply lines open amid COVID-19 pandemic

However, some long-haul truck drivers who spoke to Global News in the Okanagan on Thursday reported facing challenges in some locations.

“I have noticed that a lot of the truck stops and the restaurants are all closed, some places will get you take out, some places are just shut down and washrooms are a real problem,” said driver Debbie Millar.

“Shippers and receivers won’t let us in the buildings to use their facilities.”

Driver Trevor Parlby reported similar challenges and said “it is getting to a point where a lot of guys are wondering what the hell we are doing out here.”

Parlby said while some businesses are making an effort to help drivers out, others don’t want truck drivers walking through the drive-through or using the bathrooms.

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“We are supposed to wash all the time. If you don’t got a bathroom, how do you wash?” he asked.