As you are getting ready for the annual Thanksgiving chow-down, take a moment to consider how far our Thanksgiving meals have come. When we talk about where food comes from today, we describe it as farm to table, but most people neglect to mention the important step in between: the truck.
Truck drivers are an important part of making Thanksgiving happen in America. Remember to thank a driver as you celebrate with friends and family.
A Little History
For the first Thanksgiving in 1621, Pilgrims invited Native Americans to join their celebration of a successful harvest. This celebration was a three day festival of the community coming together for eating, hunting, dancing and games.
The first Thanksgiving was centered around meat, but instead of turkey it was venison (deer meat) brought as a gift by the Native Americans. Sides and fixings included all kinds of vegetables like beans, spinach, cabbage and carrots.
Thanksgiving Today From Farm To Truck To Table
In 2016, our celebration fare travels hundreds of miles from communities across the country to end up on the table. Thousands of truck drivers spend their days and nights working to get food and other goods to families.
According to the USDA, Americans eat over 46 million turkeys on Thanksgiving Day and most of the turkeys come from the great state of Montana. Depending on where you’re celebrating, your turkey could have traveled over 2,000 miles.
Sides and desserts come from all across the country too.
Most sweet potatoes travel across America from North Carolina. The majority of cranberries (fresh, frozen or sauced) come from Wisconsin. The family favorite green bean casserole gets its beans from farmers in Florida and Aunt Sally’s homemade pecan pie is filled with nuts from Georgia.
The United States Department of Agriculture tracks the origins of our produce and meat. Their infographic below shows us a little more of our meal’s story.
The USDA’s graphic does a great job at showing us how communities are sharing their own harvests for other Americans to enjoy. To make sure everyone can celebrate, truck drivers haul goods from community to community.
As you’re loading up the good dinnerware with food, remember that a truck driver delivered it from top to bottom before Uncle Hubert could brine, baste and bake it.
Black Friday: From Storage to Stores
Thanksgiving is about more than just food. We celebrate our own successes and blessings with our family and friends, then many Americans enjoy parades, watch football and get a head start on holiday gift-giving by taking advantage of sales in stores and online.
One popular Thanksgiving tradition is the Macy’s Day Parade. The parade could not happen without truck drivers. A tanker must deliver 12,000 cubic feet of helium to fill parade balloons and the tanker must stay on site for the day. (I wonder if the driver gets docking pay with a great view of the parade.)
Every Thanksgiving Americans watch as many as 8 NFL championships. For American professional football championships to take place, drivers must deliver equipment, food and even the players that take buses.
Once Thanksgiving evening arrives, people line up across the country to get huge discounts for Black Friday. From Thursday-Sunday, some of the biggest sales happen for the entire year, especially for top holiday gifts like electronics and popular toys. Truck drivers have to put in extra time from October to November to make sure stores have enough product to fill demand.
Count Your Blessings and Thank A Trucker!
Thanksgiving today may be quite different than it was nearly 400 years ago, but we are still celebrating coming together with the blessing of loved ones and successes in our life (our 21st century harvest).
We are all blessed to have our meal come from the best places in America, and we have to thank drivers for everything they do to ensure we can celebrate Thanksgiving traditions.
Thanksgiving is just one tiny piece of how important drivers are to every American. As we say in the trucking industry, “If you bought it, a driver brought it!”
Trucking companies are hiring drivers now to keep American cities thriving. High paying truck driver jobs are open in nearly every city across the country.
Experienced drivers and teams can earn extra money by applying for truck driver jobs with sign on bonuses.
If you’re interested in joining the ranks of one of the most important careers in the industry, you can apply today and even qualify for paid CDL training!