Feds OK Food Trucks at Rest Stops During Crisis

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[COVID-19 Updates: See our complete coronavirus coverage here.]

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) announced that it will allow states that have closed restaurants to allow food trucks to operate at federally funded highway rest areas.

The agency said it recognizes that truck drivers’ food options may be limited during this emergency period, and vending machines may not provide them with adequate nutrition.

“Food trucks may provide vital sustenance for interstate commercial truck drivers and others who are critical to the Nation's continued ability to deliver needed food and relief supplies to the communities impacted by the economic disruptions and healthcare strains caused by COVID-19,” the agency said in a letter sent to state departments of transportation.

Federal law generally prohibits commercial activities in rest stops that receive federal funding, but the FHWA has discretion with regard to enforcement.  

“If a state determines that permitting food trucks to operate and sell food in any designated federally funded Interstate Highway rest areas is necessary to support interstate commercial truck drivers, FHWA will refrain from taking any remedial action,” the agency said.

However, states will need to come back into compliance after the state of emergency is over, the letter stated.

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