Truckers from all around central Alberta heard the offer of a free meal, and plenty made a quick pitstop at Junction 42.
ATB Financial put on the event, providing free lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the truck stop just off the QEII Highway outside of Penhold on Thursday.
A steady stream of truckers and farmers showed up to enjoy the meal.
“It’s really just a recognition for the truck drivers and what they do for the economy and what they’ve been doing: getting food… the commodities still have to move.
“Products moving up the oil fields and livestock moving. Things have to go on. We’re just recognizing these people who are getting the goods to the consumer,” said Terry Andryo, director of community initiatives for ATB Financial.
“It’s not anything we feel is special. We’re just recognizing the people who are supporting our community and working throughout the province.”
Andryo added that the call even went out across the truck drivers’ CB radio Thursday, helping spread the message.
Even though the windy and chilly weather didn’t make for perfect conditions, Andryo said ATB was happy to put on the event, a much-needed boost in difficult times.
Mark Kaun, a farmer whose field overlooks the truck stop at Junction 42, stopped by to pick up a burger from the Hungry Beast food truck out of Red Deer, one of two providing the lunches.
He said the initiative was a welcome break for him and many of the other farmers and truckers in the area.
“It’s nice for ATB to be here, to get a warm meal on a cold day,” he said.