Earlier than he owned Colorado’s largest meals restoration nonprofit, Arlan Preblud was a self-proclaimed foodie.
When the recession hit in 2008, Preblud had determined to depart his regulation profession and search for one other worthwhile endeavor. The retired legal professional and his spouse would usually exit to eat in Denver and chat with native restaurant homeowners and employees.
“What do you do with meals on the finish of the night time that you just don’t promote?” Preblud started asking whereas out to dinner. He was conscious that meals insecurity was on the rise throughout the recession, and he noticed a chance to attach meals service companies with those that have been going hungry.
“Would you donate this meals?” Preblud requested eating places and caterers at first, earlier than shifting on to occasion facilities, farms, grocery retailer suppliers and distributors.
When We Don’t Waste obtained up and operating in 2009, Preblud was choosing up meals himself and delivering it to meals banks and rescue missions out of the again of his household’s station wagon.
“By the tip of the yr, I knew the Volvo wasn’t going to have the ability to deal with it for much longer,” he informed The Denver Submit greater than a decade later.
At present, We Don’t Waste has grown from the again of Preblud’s automotive to 4 refrigerated vans, 1,000-square-feet of cooler house and an 11,500-square-foot distribution warehouse.
Greater than 100 donors, from unbiased eating places and caterers to Cisco and the Colorado Conference Middle, provide unused meals through Preblud’s nonprofit. And greater than 200 organizations obtain it, both instantly from We Don’t Waste or by way of meals financial institution partnerships.
“Our objective is admittedly to cut back meals insecurity and hold meals out of the landfill,” Preblud mentioned. “So we’re not proprietary to that, and it’s labored nicely for us over the past 12 years.”
The challenge remains to be rising. We Don’t Waste has launched 6-8 cell meals markets every month, which act like free farmers’ markets in underserved communities. In 2022, Preblud and his crew plan to introduce a brand new app that can join We Don’t Waste volunteers with native eating places which have smaller quantities of meals to donate.
“Largely it doesn’t make sense now to ship a 14-foot refrigerated truck to select up (small meals donations) from unbiased eating places,” defined Allie Hoffman, We Don’t Waste’s supervisor of strategic communications. “However we wish to proceed this work, we all know that there’s extra meals to get.”
In 2020, We Don’t Waste distributed 24 million servings of meals, equal to about 8 million meals. This yr, Preblud mentioned he expects to match or beat these numbers.
“However throughout the vacation season, the demand at all times will increase,” he mentioned. “We strive to do that as equitably as we will… and likewise to offer culturally acceptable meals after we can.”
Every week, We Don’t Waste volunteers are invited to assist kind and package deal meals for donation on the firm’s headquarters. Volunteers can donate their time (or cash) at wedontwaste.org.
Identify of group: We Don’t Waste
Tackle: 5971 Broadway, Denver, CO 80216
In operation since: 2009
Variety of staff: 18
Annual funds: $13.7 million (about $11.5 million in in-kind donated meals)
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