These days, we can all use a little more “good” in the world.
That’s why U.S. Bank recently rolled out its Good Truck in markets across the country, to thank the people – from healthcare workers to nonprofits to educators – who are helping our communities get through the pandemic while supporting small businesses in the process. In Charlotte, for example, the truck handed out vibrant bouquets of fresh-cut flowers to local teachers and school staff, while in St. Cloud, Minnesota, it delivered free lunches to thank healthcare workers at CentraCare Hospital.
“In partnership with the House of Pizza, we served nearly 400 CentraCare employees. It was such an honor to celebrate these heroes,” said Mike Markman, regional president for U.S. Bank. “The staff and administration were very, very appreciative but really, we can’t thank them enough for what they are doing to keep our communities safe.”
The idea for the Good Truck grew out of the U.S. Bank Food Truck, which debuted last fall with the original purpose of highlighting small business restaurant owners by offering free food alongside the opportunity for consumers to learn more about the redesigned U.S. Bank mobile banking app. The truck often stopped at large community events, such as the Las Vegas Pride Parade and farmer’s markets in the Bay Area. When COVID-19 stay-at-home guidelines rolled out in March, though, the campaign was brought to a halt.
As it eventually became clearer how to safely interact through social distancing and stringent cleaning procedures, the idea of creating a “Good Truck” to support local businesses while honoring community heroes was born. The large public gatherings were tabled in favor of pre-arranged lunch drop-offs, featuring individually boxed meals and requisite use of masks, hand sanitizer and other safety measures.
There are as many as five Good Trucks delivering day-brighteners across the country right now. In Salt Lake City, the Good Truck debuted by partnering with the Pacific Island Heritage Festival to offer complimentary boxed Polynesian food from Yummy’s Korean BBQ so attendees could take the food home to watch the now-virtual Pacific Islander Art Festival safely from their home while providing a sense of a communal meal.
“It wasn’t an option not to hold the festival this year because it’s so important to our community, so we had to be creative and come up with ways to spread out the events over a month and offer them virtually and curbside,” said Susi Feltch-Malohifo’ou, executive director of Pacific Island Knowledge 2 Action Resources (PIK2AR). “Having the meals from the Good Truck really helped make this year’s event feel special.”
In Charlotte, U.S. Bank added some appreciation to the day of healthcare workers when the Good Truck stopped by Atrium Health’s hospital in Pineville, North Carolina, to deliver sweet and salty popcorn treats.
U.S. Bank partnered with local business It’s Poppin! Gourmet Kettle Korn to provide the snacks to doctors, nurses and other workers at the hospital near Charlotte, where the bank has been expanding its retail banking presence.
“Six months into the challenges that COVID-19 presents, our teammates at Atrium Health are as passionate and dedicated as ever,” said Ann Taylor, director of volunteer services at Atrium Health Pineville. “Events like this are deeply appreciated because they demonstrate that our community still recognizes, supports and appreciates our healthcare heroes and all of their hard work.”
The truck was also recently in Seattle, where it served as a transportation partner for FareStart, a local nonprofit that transforms lives through food and job training to help youth and adults escape the cycle of poverty by getting, and keeping, a job. The Good Truck helped deliver ingredients to FareStart students across the Seattle area participating in their Adult Culinary Program, which has shifted to a virtual format for the fall due to the pandemic.
“We’ve all learned to adapt during the pandemic and really listen to the needs of each other and our community. Many of our nonprofit partners, like FareStart, have had to change the way they operate as well. Delivering ingredients as their program shifts to a virtual format allows us to help them continue to help those they serve,” said Kristy Dickson, Consumer and Business Banking market leader in Seattle for U.S. Bank.
The Good Truck has also made stops in several markets across the Midwest. In the Twin Cities, the truck partnered with Sota-Licious to deliver treats to a Habitat for Humanity build team. In Milwaukee, the team partnered with GiGi’s Cupcakes to show appreciation for the Milwaukee Fire Department with stops at several firehouses in the city, and teachers at Jeffery Elementary in Kenosha. In St. Louis, deliveries included the St. Louis Zoo, Mercy Hospital and Ferguson Empowerment Center.
Keep an eye out over the next several weeks, as the U.S. Bank Good Truck is slated to pop up in new markets to continue spreading goodwill across the country.
The Good Truck also offers consumers the opportunity to learn more about scheduling an appointment to discuss their banking needs, either in-person or via phone, at usbank.com/book.