Food trucks temporarily allowed to operate at ODOT rest areas

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Typically, federal regulations do not allow commercial activity at rest areas with little exceptions

ODOT, Ohio Department of Transportation

Credit: Peter Cade/Stone/Getty Images

(WKBN) – The Ohio Department of Transportation is temporarily opening rest areas to food trucks, giving truck drivers more options for a warm meal during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Truck drivers are the lifeblood of the economy and their jobs have never been more critical than now,” said Ohio Governor Mike DeWine. “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.”

Typically, federal regulations do not allow commercial activity at rest areas with little exceptions. The Federal Highway Administration said last week that they would be suspending those regulations for now.

“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,” said ODOT Director Jack Marchbanks. “We thank FHWA for recognizing these are unique times.”

Food truck vendors will need to download a permit from the ODOT website and display it while operating at a rest stop.

ODOT said food truck vendors also need to follow state and local food service regulations, as well as social distancing guidelines.

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