ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Members of Real Women in Trucking were posted at Florida’s Turnpike rest stop at Turkey Lake Plaza to give out much-needed personal protective equipment to a group of people they say has been overlooked throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
From the warehouse to local stores, truck drivers have been on the road delivering goods. They say the pandemic had made their jobs more difficult.
"We don't feel appreciated. Some of the showers and restrooms at truck stops are closed, it's bad," said Ray Sanchez who drives a truck from Miami.
Many drivers say PPE has been hard to come by.
"It took me about a month and a half just to get some hand sanitizer," said Tamiko Edwards.
Edwards is from Alabama and says it’s difficult trying to stay healthy and safe without the proper supplies.
"When they're going to pick up and deliver, some of the facilities are taking their temperatures and requiring them to wear masks. I've even encountered drivers having to put a dirty sock on their face or a dirty t-shirt," said Desiree Wood.
Those experiences motivated Desiree Wood, President of Real Women in Trucking, to partner with Florida's Turnpike Enterprise to collect and distribute donated PPE and supplies to truck drivers.
The kit included masks, hand sanitizer, disinfectant and snacks.
"I definitely appreciate it," said Sanchez.
With vans filled with much-needed supplies, Real Women in Trucking plan to continue traveling across the country delivering PPE to truck drivers who need them. The group is expected to give out about 15,000 PPE kits.