Intuit’s New Food Truck Program Empowers Underserved Youth with Vital Financial, Technical, and Entrepreneurial Skills

There’s no better way to learn something new than by doing it – and, at Intuit, we know that access to real-world entrepreneurial and work experience is crucial for students to gain the financial confidence they need to succeed.

To that end, Intuit has introduced a technical and entrepreneurial educational program providing fully operational food trucks to school districts, with curriculum to teach high schoolers how to run and operate a small business using Intuit’s financial tools. The food trucks are equipped with commercial-grade kitchens, enabling students to build real-world skills and experiences in a professional context and setting. 

The program is now available in Compton Unified School District and will expand to Los Angeles Unified School District, San Diego Unified School District, Dallas Independent School District, and Washoe County School District in Reno, NV during the 2023-2024 school year. These school districts were selected for the program based on the company’s commitment to helping underserved students in its Prosperity Hub School Districts, and with the goal of making a positive impact on 5,000 underserved students in the program’s first year. 

The program provides a guided structure and student experience, operating as a work-based learning experience, and using the food truck as the practical method for this unique experience to come to life.

“Our commitment to strengthening communities is a fundamental part of our mission to power prosperity around the world. We launched our Prosperity Hub School Districts program to address the disparity in educational equity including access to financial and entrepreneurial education programs. As an important component of our corporate responsibility programs, this food truck program will help students develop technical and durable skills employers seek.” – Dave Zasada, Head of Corporate Responsibility at Intuit. 

Financial, Career & Technical Education to High School Students

The program takes place in the classroom and students from various Career and Technical Education (CTE) pathways will work to build the real-world skills of culinary arts experience, marketing strategy, accounting operations, and design. Students learn how to run a business through real-world examples and workshops. 

Beyond culinary arts instruction, graphic design students will have opportunities to design menus and the wrap of the truck; accounting and finance students will have opportunities to help the culinary students manage their business finances; business and marketing students will be able to help grow and market the food truck business; and automotive students will be able to conduct routine maintenance and repairs on the food trucks. Intuit also provides curriculum and resource materials to support the program, as well as training, events and competitions for students, teachers and administrators. Programming also includes free tools including: QuickBooks Online and the GOPayment Point of Sale app to help students manage the finances of their food truck business.

By giving students the opportunity to learn by doing, the technical and entrepreneurial educational program aims to support the development of a new generation of small business owners and entrepreneurs.

“Adapting education to meet today’s ever changing skill sets is essential. Many school districts deprioritize electives like business finance or culinary arts, viewing them as extras. Community transformation hinges on economic opportunity, and as a global financial technology platform, we believe in equipping students for the jobs of today.” – Dr. Silke Bradford, Intuit’s Head of K12 Business and Partner Development and former Career Technical Education Director for Compton Unified School District. 

Launch in Compton – and More to Come

Intuit delivered the first food truck to Compton Unified School District on September 22 this year, marking the program’s launch. At the event, students were inspired by talks from Compton Unified School District administration and Intuit leadership, enjoyed lunch from local food truck small businesses, and received personalized swag to celebrate the launch. Compton students will now have the opportunity to dive deeper into learning the ins and outs of running a business through supplemental learning resources and apply their learnings to their new food truck business.

“At Intuit, we believe in powering prosperity not just through our products, but also by empowering students to build durable skills for their future. The inspiration for our new food truck program came from Compton, and we’re proud to not only donate a food truck but also develop a playbook for student-run businesses. This program will benefit not just Compton but also other school districts around the country. We hope that through Hub City Foods, Compton students will discover their ‘why’ and build skills that will benefit them regardless of their chosen career path.” – Dave Zasada, Head of Corporate Responsibility at Intuit

Fostering Prosperity for Every Student

Intuit believes that every student should have the opportunity to prosper, regardless of the ZIP code they live in. Students in disadvantaged communities don’t have equal opportunities to develop the skills or access the tools they’ll need to succeed in the job market of the future. Through Intuit’s Prosperity Hub School District program, we aim to support educators teaching finance topics, and help students develop confidence as they apply these skills in the real world after graduation. 

Learn more about Intuit’s job readiness initiative and programs.