New Warehouse Gives We Don't Waste Storage Space
A nonprofit that picks up and redistributes imperfect food that grocery stores will not sell is settling into its new 11,570 SF food rescue and distribution center at 5971 Broadway.
We Don’t Waste collects food from venues, caterers, distributors and other food purveyors to distribute to underserved populations. Donors include the Colorado Rockies, Denver Botanic Gardens, Sprouts Market and Epicurean Catering at Mile High Stadium.
The new warehouse gives We Don’t Waste the ability to store large quantities of food that it was unable to handle at its former 900 SF location in RiNo, Executive Director Arlan Preblud said. Until now, fresh produce, lean proteins and dairy products have been picked up and delivered the same day in three refrigerated trucks.
“If we hadn’t recovered it, it would have gone to the landfill,” Preblud said. “When you stop to think of the number of kids that go to bed hungry, it’s a crime not to redistribute it.”
Even though the new warehouse gives the organization the ability to store food, there are still instances where it has to turn down offers of donations. For example, because it does not have a cooler, it had to decline the offer of 30 pallets of milk because its employees did not have time to deliver it. A cooler is on the wish list, as is a forklift and a new truck.
We Don't Waste leases the warehouse from Siegrist Co., a 77-year-old property management, development and brokerage firm that helped the nonprofit with building out the office space, installing a dock door and replacing the heating and air conditioning.
"This facility enables We Don't Waste to expand its food recovery services to more community-based organizations throughout the area," said Newmark Knight Frank Managing Director Russell Gruber, who helped the organization find the warehouse space.
Preblud estimates between 60% and 70% of the food goes to the working poor and many people who lost everything during the recession and are just now starting to come back into the workforce.
Formed in 2009, We Don’t Waste has distributed more than 11.5 million meals to organizations like Senior Support Services, Safehouse Denver, Food Bank of the Rockies and Mercy Housing. An organization called Nation to Nation picks up about 50,000 servings of food from We Don’t Waste to deliver to the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. In 2017, We Don’t Waste provided 28 million servings of food to more than 75 hunger relief agencies.
“Seniors on the reservation used to get one full meal a week,” Preblud said. “Now they get five.”
An estimated 184,212 tons of food are wasted in Denver each year. Of this waste, 108,530 tons come from the industrial, commercial and institutional sectors, including restaurants and caterers, food distributors, food manufacturers and grocers, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council.
UPDATE, JAN. 5, 12:40 P.M. PT: The story has been updated with the broker that represented We Don't Waste in finding the warehouse space.