Truck Drivers Deserve a Home Cooked Meal

Truck Drivers Deserve a Home Cooked Meal

Eagan Support Manager Darrin Corbin Makes Transport America Drivers Feel at Home on Thanksgiving (and every day of the year)

Before joining Transport America more than seven years ago, Darrin Corbin used to drive for one of the major package delivery businesses.

At the end of his day, he got to go home.

In his work for Transport America, Darrin realized that many drivers wish they could be home more frequently, but due to the nature of the job, couldn’t be.

Missing out on special moments and meals with their family over holidays, Darrin knew he couldn’t replace the moments with their families but he could provide them with a Thanksgiving feast.

As manager of the Eagan Support Center, each day Darrin and the Support Center team interact with an average of 50 to 70 drivers. On weekends, that number might be more than 100 drivers. And on the day before a big holiday, that number might be even more.

On the day before Thanksgiving, as some drivers ponder if they’ll be home in time for Thanksgiving Dinner, others are thinking about taking advantage of the light traffic to get some miles in. Still others don’t really have a place to go. A place they can call home. At the Eagan Support Center, like many of Transport America’s other support centers, Darrin and the team hear it all. Both the joy and the sadness.

“That’s where our team comes in,” says Darrin, who joined Transport America more than seven years ago as an Extended Coverage Manager. “Drivers want to be treated with dignity and respect. Sometimes I feel called to just listen to them.”

And to feed them, too.

Growing up in a family of seven kids raised by a single mother, Darrin understands the meaning of a home-cooked meal, and how good food, made with care, can aid in starting a conversation.

Taught how to cook for his entire family at the ripe age of 12, Darrin fondly remembers coming together with his siblings around the table.

“I grew up poor,” he says, “we didn’t eat out like some families did. We didn’t do take-out. We learned how to stretch the food budget, and how to make every meal taste great. All of my siblings knew when I cooked. I always liked to deviate a bit from the 11 recipes our mother made us rotate through. I liked to spice things up a bit.”

That love for cooking combined with his passion for caring for Transport America drivers is evident every day at the Eagan Support Center.

“It’s a home away from home for our drivers,” says Darrin, who likes to arrive early to work and get the coffee going for the drivers.

“I get the food out – the PB & J and the oatmeal,” he says. “And then tidy up a bit. Sometimes, when I’m in the mood, I like to bring in a crockpot with something that the drivers can eat throughout the day. Sometimes it’s chili. Other times it’s pork fajitas or my french toast bake. And in the summer months, we like to get the grill going on the patio and feed the drivers brats, hamburgers and hot dogs.”

For Thanksgiving this year, Darrin was joined by his colleagues Dean Patterson, Field Safety Specialist, and Richard Petterson, Maintenance Manager to cook up a Thanksgiving feast for drivers who found themselves in Eagan on the day before Thanksgiving.

Here was their menu:

Three Turkeys

Two hams

Biscuits and gravy

Sweet and mashed potatoes, including gravy

Sweet corn

Green bean hot dish

Pickles and olives

Two pecan pies

Two pumpkin pies

Cherry cream pie

Pioneer bread pudding

Pumpkin bars

Cranberry sauce (homemade, not from a can)

“I added the biscuits and gravy because some of our drivers from down South didn’t think I could make real biscuits and gravy,” says Darrin, “but listen – I grew up in Indiana – that’s close enough to the South to give me some real cred when it comes to biscuits and gravy.”

To Darrin, serving the 100 plus Transport America drivers who visited the Eagan Support Center a Thanksgiving meal is an opportunity to say “thank you” for all they do.

But there’s something even more important to consider.

“I’ve learned that homemade food has a way of bringing people together,” says Darrin, “It gives us an opportunity to talk and share stories, and relieve the stress of being away from loved ones. In the end, it’s all about respect.”

And, Darrin adds, “to really get to know our drivers.”

That’s the kind of company Transport America strives to be every day. The kind of company that Darrin likes to work for.