For over a decade, the culinary arts students at Compton High School had faced a significant challenge; they lacked access to a commercial-grade kitchen. This made it nearly impossible for them to practice the culinary concepts they were learning in class, such as knife skills or baking techniques. Thankfully, these savvy students and their culinary arts teacher, Virginia Cortez, had a solution in mind — purchasing a commercial-grade food truck that would have everything the students needed to learn and kickstart their culinary careers.
The school approached Dave Zasada, V.P. of education with Intuit’s corporate responsibility team, with this idea, and he was on board right away. Intuit, the global financial technology platform that makes Intuit TurboTax, Credit Karma, QuickBooks, and Mailchimp, agreed to sponsor a new food truck for Compton High School. This is where Legion Food Trucks entered the picture, being chosen to build the donated truck.
New Food Truck, New Beginnings
We worked hard to design and build a food truck that would help bring the students’ dreams to life. We made sure to include all of the equipment they needed to practice and hone their culinary skills, including fryers, grills, prep stations, and more. In September of 2023, we delivered the finished food truck to the school.
“It changed everything,” said Ms. Cortez after seeing the truck for the first time. ”Because now I can get into all the basics. We can do knife skills. We can start on the grill; there’s a flat top deep fryer so we can actually go through all the cooking methods and put everything that we were learning about last year into action.”
In addition to being able to practice their culinary skills, the new food truck also gives the students an opportunity to learn about the business side of owning and operating a food truck business — something we are equally passionate about here at Legion.
As a result of this collaboration, Intuit has announced plans to expand its food truck program to school districts in Los Angeles, San Diego, Dallas, and Washoe County during the 2023-2024 school year. The program aims to impact roughly 5,000 underserved students, with students studying graphic design, accounting, business, and automotive repair all being able to benefit from the new food trucks.
Create New Opportunities with Legion Food Trucks
Our journey with Compton High School has been a testament to what can be achieved when organizations come together to make a difference. We’re excited to see the culinary careers that will bloom from this new partnership and are proud to have played a part in it. Together, we’re creating a brighter future for these talented students, one delicious meal at a time.