Hayden Danksy on Leadership Fellows and Boulder Food Rescue

“Leadership Fellows provides an holistic understanding of the people, politics, businesses, and other organizations whose efforts around social change are interrelated,” according to Hayden Dansky, Executive Director of Boulder Food Rescue – a grantee of your Community Foundation.

A current participant in Leadership Fellows Boulder County – a joint leadership development and networking program of the Community Foundation and the Boulder Chamber – Hayden further notes the value of networking within a diverse cohort of fellows. 
“Everyone in the cohort is so cool,” they* say. “For me, one of the biggest benefits of Leadership Fellows is getting to know an amazing group of people working toward similar goals in Boulder County, within and beyond food justice.”
Indeed, Hayden is passionate about creating more participatory and accessible food systems. “As an organization that’s mostly on the ground, Boulder Food Rescue’s No-Cost Grocery Programs require broad community participation to collect, organize, distribute, and clean the food we deliver,” they say. 
“Participants in Leadership Fellows are community organizers, and that’s the kind of engagement Boulder Food Rescue relies on, too, to connect neighbors to food sources.” 
Specifically, Boulder Food Rescue partners with some 40 different recipient sites across town, including more than two dozen No-Cost Grocery Programs. 
“Like Leadership Fellows, Boulder Food Rescue is community- and resident-driven,” they add. “We depend on partnerships and collaborations to address food access, locally. Leadership Fellows helps connect the dots and harness new connections toward addressing the root causes of food insecurity, and driving systems change by engaging all sectors.”
Speaking of engaging all sectors, Hayden is also a poet and performance artist. “I loved the Leadership Fellows session on poetry and the arts. It was really interactive, fulfilling the creative part of me, even as another part of me is working toward a more equitable and less wasteful community – and a community in which the shame and stigma of being food insecure is replaced by neighbors helping neighbors, and by people coming out of isolation and connecting over food.
“Leadership Fellows provides the space and inspiration for me to think about myself as a whole person.”
On April 9, learn more about creating more inclusive systems at Boulder Food Rescue’s Participation Training for Direct Service Organizations – a workshop designed for direct service employees who want to create participatory and inclusive programs, organizations, and communications. And on May 8, Boulder Food Rescue and the Museum of Boulder – also a Community Foundation grantee – will present Voices of Community Food Access, a recipe book launch party celebrating participants in Boulder Food Rescue’s No-Cost Grocery Program (i.e., community members who organize food redistribution in their communities). 
Learn more
In this video, Hayden speaks to the significance of inclusive leadership and equitable distribution of power to overcome hunger among local residents. Hunger disproportionately affects people based on race, class, and geography, yet the programs in place to solve this community challenge generally don’t utilize the voices of the people affected by it.
*Hayden Danksy identifies with the pronouns they, them, and theirs.