When COVID first hit last March, Crystal Blair provided free meals and showers for truckers when many restaurants and facilities shut down. Now, she is helping truckers again – this time with $12 packed lunches.
At the Glenholme Loop Petro Pass Restaurant (Angel’s Diner), Blair, the owner, worries about truckers driving through COVID hotspots, particularly in Quebec and Ontario. She knew she needed to start something again.
“It's been on my mind, I always worry,” said Blair. “I'm always trying to think of ways to help.”
The hearty lunches, packed in the morning, are $12 each (tax included). Each paper bag includes three sandwiches of different varieties, a ham salad plate with homemade potato salad, two pieces of fruit, two pre-packaged snacks, two homemade desserts and three bottles of water.
Already the response has been “overwhelming,” with some visitors paying for others’ lunches.
“It's amazing,” said Blair. “You don't ask for help, but people just reach out and they want to help you. That's incredible.”
Drivers are welcome to call ahead to reserve a lunch or mention any dietary needs. So far, the feedback has been positive from truckers.
“They really appreciate it," said Blair. “They've been coming to the kitchen door just to thank me … it means more to them, that somebody is out there, just thinking of them.”
Now that Blair has hired a new cook, some of her time has been freed to take on the lunch-packing task as her personal responsibility.
“I'm very small staff … there's enough to do," she said. “I'm just going to try to monitor it and do it on my own.”
Blair will be keeping an eye on demand and encourages feedback. She said she might have to buy another cooler. Overall, the business is faring well, considering the wintertime slowdown and latest COVID spikes in the province.
“Thank goodness for the truck drivers,” said Blair. “I can't imagine how slow it would be right now without them.”