Lifting Up Leadership with the Corbin Hill Food Project

The Food System Leadership Network is excited to continue rolling out our inspirational summer line-up with the “Lifting Up Leadership” video series, highlighting leaders of influential food systems organizations across the country. In this first episode, we stopped by the Corbin Hill Food Project in New York City ( to meet with Dennis Derryck (President and Founder) and Erica Christensen (Growth and Operations Manager) to explore how staying true to your values can lead to social change and good food for all. View here! Speaking with Dennis, it’s clear that Corbin Hill’s mission of supplying fresh food to those who need it most is directly aligned to his own personal reasons for becoming involved in food systems work: his passion for social justice that began when he was a youth. As Dennis recalls, his childhood impacted his perspective on the world so that his “whole career is really around social justice.” Though he founded Corbin Hill with an operational focus on food distribution, he’s continually working to recreate the system to focus more on food sovereignty, racial justice, social entrepreneurship, and wealth creation within the communities that Corbin Hill Food Project serves. Like Dennis, Erica’s memories from childhood inspired her to work in food systems as well. From spending time with her parents in the kitchen to her work at Corbin Hill, it’s the cultural, social, and often political characteristics of food that drive her work: “Food touches everybody, across every culture, every community, it's something that everybody needs every day. It's a way to connect to people in a way that's approachable. Everybody eats and everybody has some connection to food.” Watch the full video ( and let us know your thoughts. How do your personal and organizational values show up operationally in your food systems work? What inspired you to get involved in food systems work?

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