Along with many other occupations, tractor-trailer truck drivers have been deemed essential personnel during the current pandemic. However, due to the nature of their job, many tractor-trailer truck drivers have faced many more challenges in their day-to-day tasks than some other essential personnel have. One example is that with the closure and/or reduced services of many restaurants across not only Indiana but the whole country, many truck drivers have been finding it increasingly difficult to access food during their travels.

Taking notice of this issue, the US Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration issued a Notice of Enforcement Discretion titled “Operation of Commercial Food Trucks in Federally Funded Interstate Highway Rest Areas” on April 3, and on April 7, Indiana Department of Transportation agreed with the Notice of Enforcement Discretion and therefore will allow temporary permits for food trucks to operate at rest areas and welcome centers statewide.

This decision was made in order to address the need for food for essential workers who are traveling, such as tractor-trailer truck drivers, during the COVID-19 State of Emergency.

INDOT will issue up to two permits for each of 28 rest area locations across the state on a first-come, first-served basis. These permits will allow food trucks to operate between the hours of 7 .a.m and 7 p.m. each day. Permits will be valid until canceled by INDOT or until the national federal emergency status has been lifted.

Interested applicants can review additional information on the “Rest Area Food Truck Program” and details regarding the application process at www.in.gov/indot.