With trucks still on roads, Vernon County woman provides free treats for truckers

Joplin Area Coronavirus

NEVADA, Mo. — The federal government considers trucking to be an essential service during the current coronavirus pandemic. Many truckers are still on the roads, risking their health to ensure deliveries arrive on time.

For two days, Schell City resident Gaynell Williams has made the 30 minute drive to Nevada, set up her baked goods in the parking lot of a local barbecue restaurant, and waited for any trucker needing a homemade pick me up. Her husband is a trucker, and Williams felt compelled to do something special for people like him.

“I contemplated doing it and then talked myself out of it, and I went to take a nap and was strongly urged, I feel by God to get up and bake, and I didn’t listen and dozed back off and was then rudely awakened. So that’s how it began,” Williams said.

Williams deed hasn’t gone unnoticed by the community and those she’s trying to help. A post about her on a trucking Facebook page has been shared more than 20 thousand times, with numerous likes and comments.

“I’ve had great comments, appreciation from the truckers and also just trucker’s wives at home, thanking me for thinking of their husbands out here, wives out here on the road,” Williams said.

Amy Downing, the owner of Buzz’s BBQ & Steakhouse, the restaurant whose parking lot Williams has set up in, felt like so many had on Facebook.

“I think it’s amazing,” Downing said. “I appreciate it. The ones that do come over and get food from us ask us if they haven’t stopped and we send them over here.”

Williams says she understands the reservations some may have about what she’s doing, but adds that she takes precautions, like washing her hands, to keep everyone safe.

“I am taking precautions at home. I used rubber gloves. I also pin my hair up at home when I’m baking. I do everything that I can to protect them. Everything is packaged individual.”

Williams plans to be out here as much as possible, giving away goodies to those who make their living out on the road.

“We’re out here and we’d love to have them stop by. I mean that’s what I’m about. I want to give back to them for them putting their lives out there for us.”

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