FARGO - Heidi Roggenkamp is hoping she can help the region’s truckers just keep on truckin’ as they help keep the country supplied during the coronavirus pandemic.

The owner and general manager of Randy’s University Diner recently put a call out on social media letting truckers and their friends and family know that her restaurant can offer them an easy option for getting a hot, filling meal.

Randy’s at 2130 University Drive S. is across the street from the now shuttered Kmart, and Roggenkamp says she and her staff would be happy to deliver meals to truckers to that big, open lot.

“TRUCKERS!!! They won't let you walk through a drive through, & your dine-in restaurants are closed. We know you need to eat too!!,” a Randy’s Facebook post said. “There's an open parking lot in our neighborhood (Kmart) with room for your truck, and we will bring your meals to you!! Thank you for all you do!!!”

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Roggenkamp said she heard of truckers trying to walk through the drive-throughs of some restaurants and being turned away. “I think it’s important in general as we come together as a community,” Roggenkamp said.

“We’re doing delivery anyway,” she said.

“We haven’t had a ton,” of truckers taking up the offer so far, perhaps a half dozen, “but we’d love to have more. … We’re there if they need us,” she said.

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In addition to going over to the Kmart parking lot, Randy’s employees will deliver to truck stops and filling stations, at whatever hub truckers need some grub.

“They’re the lifeline of the country you know,” Roggenkamp said. “They can’t work from home. They’re important for us. And we want to give them an option.”

The diner is also among area businesses working to get meals out to seniors and other shut-ins, Roggenkamp told The Forum in an earlier story. She said people reached out to the restaurant on Facebook asking if they could purchase gift cards or meals for people who couldn’t get out to eat. Thanks to donations, Randy’s employees are making meals — pork loin, chicken strips, roast beef, macaroni and cheese and more — to be delivered to people in the community who are on full lock down. They’re also helping facilities and programs that work with adults with disabilities.

At the diner Wednesday afternoon, a few regulars filtered in the door to make their to-go orders for supper - or in one case - several big slices of pie.

Roggenkamp said doing business for a restaurant now means being willing to adapt and adjust, and her employees were doing just that.

Liz Lawson writes thank-you notes Wednesday, March 25, on to-go boxes for customers of Randy's University Diner in south Fargo. (Helmut Schmidt / The Forum)
Liz Lawson writes thank-you notes Wednesday, March 25, on to-go boxes for customers of Randy's University Diner in south Fargo. (Helmut Schmidt / The Forum)

Liz Lawson, who normally works as a waitress, was writing thank-you notes on the to-go boxes that would go out to customers. She had already written notes of gratitude in neat script on 200 boxes Wednesday afternoon, an array of colored markers on the table in front of her, “and that’s just me,” she said.

In the kitchen, cook Jeremiah Johnson was assembling hot beef sandwiches. Normally, he’d be working as a substitute teacher for Moorhead’s public schools. Now he’s at home with his children, or turning out short orders at Randy’s.

“I’d also like to be in the classroom,” Johnson said. “But not right now.”

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