We are always interested in hearing more about the individuals in food banking across Canada! This month, our spotlight is on Dan Huang-Taylor from Food Banks BC.
What is your role in food banking?
I am the executive director for Food Banks BC. I am part of a team of six staff that support our 103 food bank members while collectively working toward an end to hunger in British Columbia.
Describe a typical day in one word.
Teams! (or Zoom)
What was your inspiration to get involved in food banking?
I have been very fortunate in my life to have never needed the support of food banks, but my time working in the non-profit sector regularly exposed me to the devastating impact of poverty and food insecurity. To have the opportunity to take on a role and be part of a system that is working toward positive change in these critical areas was an opportunity I could not pass up.
What is your greatest achievement in your current role?
I started at FBBC in July 2020, so taking on the role during a pandemic, and then navigating the devastating fires and floods that our province saw in 2021 have really helped me feel prepared for just about anything!
What is your greatest challenge in your current role?
Balancing the priorities. It can be a challenge to strike the right balance between supporting our members as they address ongoing and increasing demand for their services, supporting communities who are still recovering from the devastating climate events of last year (while preparing for the next ones to come), and the work that is required to address the need for systemic change in reducing food waste, increasing access to high-quality food, and getting people out of poverty. That being said, I have an amazing, supportive team, and I am lucky to be part of this extraordinary network, so we’re making it work.
If you could have one wish granted that would address hunger in Canada what would it be?
Broad response to a huge question, but through meaningful changes in public policy we can develop a system where hunger flat out no longer exists, and everyone has sustainable access to healthy food and agency over food that is aligned with the diverse cultures and heritage of all people in this country.
Which talent would you most like to have?
As a parent of a 1- and a 3-year-old, the ability to prevent my children from waking up before 5 a.m. (8 a.m. at weekends).
If you could tell your younger self advice, what would it be?
Try to live in the moment and make choices for you. You can’t get hung up on what other people might say or think. And be careful about overusing gel/wax/mousse… you might start to lose your hair in your late 30s.
Who are your heroes? Fictional or real life
What is your idea of happiness?
A family walk with our dog on one of B.C.’s beautiful trails or beaches. Or a kid-free week on the Greek island of Amorgos, the closest thing to paradise I’ve ever experienced.
What is your motto?
What would you do if you weren’t afraid?
Something quirky about you that others may not expect or know?
I was once babysat by Rowan Atkinson, he of Mr. Bean fame. Not sure if that qualifies as quirky?
Your theme song?
“Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da” by The Beatles.
Do you know a food bank or food banker that could be featured on our next Spotlight? Contact us at email@example.com.