We sat down with Taylor Durland, the FEAST New York Advisory Committee Chair, for this month’s Impact Profile.
Impact Profiles, is a series celebrating our community. We’re talking to non-profit founders, executive directors, and donors alike about what they care about most and their unique missions.
Thanks to Taylor for taking the time and for including us at FEAST’s Fair Food Fight event next week: Perspectives on Food Equity, Food Access, Innovation and Action. A discourse on the prevailing issues around food equity, with a focus on opportunities to innovate, take action and create change. You can RSVP here!
Let’s start with some Fast Facts!
Where are you based? New York City
Occupation? Innovation @ Accenture
Favorite Non-Profit: FEAST
How do you spend your free time? Travel, wellness and doing cool things with good people. Time is my most precious resource. I want to spend it with people who challenge, inspire and enrich me.
What first got you interested in philanthropy?
I was blessed with parents who pushed me and my brothers out of our comfort zones from a young age…prioritizing travel and seeing people that were different from us. I started to wrap my head around this idea of privilege (though I’m not sure 5-year-old me would have known to name it as such) and I felt energized at working to support those who weren’t brought into this world on such a solid footing as I was.
Has this outlook changed over time?
Not really. It’s still a passion, but manifests itself in different ways. While I haven’t landed any local news segments since my kindergarten debut after launching the General Mills cereal box tops for education program at my school (remember when kids ate gluten?!)…
Great, now all I can think about is Lucky Charms!
(laughs) Food and health have become a more central part of how I strive to give back.
I’m most passionate about helping empower underserved communities with the tools to lead healthier lives and health + wellness education.
FEAST (Food, Education, Access, Support, Together) is an amazing LA-based organization I worked to bring to NYC. FEAST provides comprehensive wellness programs that combine food education and group support. Knowledge is power.
It’s hard to believe we live in one of the most progressive cities in the world yet the gap between places where there’s a Sweetgreen on every corner (and patrons who can afford a daily $15 salad) and those where the only option is a corner bodega, is staggering. FEAST works with partners around the city like Wellness in the Schools, Edible Schoolyard NYC, Harlem Grown, Misfits Market, and Tom Colicchio’s Crafted Hospitality Group to educate and empower around this most basic need.
How can people get involved?
Here’s a quick layup – donate to FEAST on DonorUP!
And we’re always looking for educators who are willing to get certified to teach our programming, especially as we expand throughout the five boroughs and beyond.
It sounds like giving back is a big part of your lifestyle and goals.
When I’m in an environment where I’m pushed to my limits, it fuels me to ask more questions, reach for the next milestone and unlock a new confidence and presence that is part of who I’m becoming. Mindfulness is priceless.
Taking part in making the world we live in just a bit better, a bit fairer…grounds me in appreciation for what I have. It gives me mindfulness that fuels me in work, play and everything in between.
Taylor Durland is a NYC-based management consultant, wellness fanatic and lover of 90s R&B. Catch him sweating it out in NYC’s Hudson River Park or exploring the world off the beaten path @tdurlo.