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Food trucks temporarily allowed at Ohio rest stops to help feed truckers during coronavirus pandemic

Gov. Mike DeWine made the decision after hearing from truckers on the lack of hot meals on the road

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Department of Transportation has temporarily lifted the restrictions on food trucks at the state's rest stops.

Gov. Mike DeWine said in a press release the move will help serve truck drivers who have had a tough time finding hot meals on the road during coronavirus closures.

"Truck drivers are the lifeblood of the economy and their jobs have never been more critical than now," DeWine said. "I've heard from many in the trucking industry that finding a place to eat while they're on the road has been tough, but we're here to help."

Last week, the Federal Highway Administration made the decision to allow states to decide whether or not to allow food trucks at rest stops. Now, ODOT has opened all of the state's 86 rest stops. 

"Truck drivers are delivering food and goods essential to our homes and medical supplies to healthcare providers. They should be able to have easy access to a hot meal," ODOT Director Jack Marchbanks said. "We thank FHWA for recognizing these are unique times."

In order for food trucks to serve at rest areas, truck operators must display a temporary permit, which can be downloaded for free here. In addition to traditional food safety restrictions, food trucks must also follow the CDC's social distancing guidelines, which Ohio State Highway Patrol will monitor.

Despite the new temporary allowance, food trucks will not be allowed to sell prepackaged snacks or any drinks except for coffee.

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