wild turkeyThanksgiving is here. You probably have things like turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce on your mind, but what about truckers? That’s right, truckers. Believe it or not, these hardworking men and women are directly responsible for the feasts we put on the table. Here are three important elements of Thanksgiving dinner that truckers deliver:

Turkey. Every Thanksgiving, Americans consume more than 46 million turkeys. Some people in rural areas raise and slaughter their own, but most of us purchase the main course at a local grocery store. To get from the farm to the freezer, thousands of packaged turkeys are loaded into refrigerated trucks and hauled hundreds (and sometimes thousands) of miles. According to the popular industry blog, The Road, 16,000 truckloads of turkey hit the road every November.

Cranberries. Ocean Spray says that Americans consume about 80 million pounds of cranberries every Thanksgiving. While some of those berries are shipped via rail and plane, the majority end up being transported on our highways. In fact, 99.9% of all cranberries are delivered to grocery stores via truck.

Sweet potatoes. Americans love their sweet potatoes, especially sweet potato casserole. Every Thanksgiving, more than 57 million pounds of sweet potatoes make their way into holiday meal side dishes. Like cranberries, the majority of sweet potatoes make it to grocery stores via the back of a truck.

The major role that truckers play during the Thanksgiving season is pretty amazing. It’s not just about hauling goods, though. What makes their sacrifice even more impressive is the fact that they have to navigate busy roadways and highways, sometimes in inclement weather, to do so. Far fewer Americans are taking road trips this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but there’s still a significant number of people who plan on driving and visiting friends or loved ones.

Truckers are tasked with getting our favorite foods to the store in time, while closely adhering to speed limits, battling inclement weather and handling countless other challenges. As you sit down to eat your Thanksgiving feast, don’t forget to give thanks to a trucker.