Hunger is a Logistics Problem

Do you know that there is more than enough food to feed everyone in this country, and that the challenge is to get the excess food to the hungry people? It is true – 100%. How sad is that? People are starving while food goes to waste. Have you ever thought, someone should do something about that?

Maybe that someone can be you! Here in Denver, we are blessed with a wonderful nonprofit organization called We Don’t Waste. Founder and Executive Director, Alan Preblud, became appalled at the wasted food he saw discarded at the end of fancy catered events he attended. He put his disappointment into action when he started picking-up excess food from caterers leftover after fundraisers, and delivering it to homeless shelters, soup kitchens and food pantries in the metro area.

The big break for Arlan’s mission came a year or so later when he got a call from the food management at Mile High Stadium (or whatever the corporate name is now for the place the Broncos play). They asked him to find a home for all of the leftovers from the skyboxes and executive suites after the football games. Arlan rallied his volunteer troops and met the challenge, and has since fed thousands from the food that would have otherwise been discarded after Bronco games.

What started as one man in a Volvo station wagon over a decade ago has grown to a major logistics company with a warehouse and a fleet of trucks on the northside of Denver. We Don’t Waste is saving the lives of our Denver residents battling addiction, poverty and homelessness by moving good food to the places it is most in need.

Have you ever heard the term, “Food Desert?” That’s a place devoid of grocery stores and access to fresh, healthy food. Believe it or not, there are a few food deserts even in a major city like Denver. The folks at We Don’t Waste have a new program. They have started a Mobile Food Pantry that brings their mission to the people in our city’s food deserts.

This is where you come in. Sheri and I are organizing a volunteer group from Stigma to staff the We Don’t Waste Mobile Food Pantry on Tuesday, February 11th at 10am. We will setup the pantry (some lifting required), help customers “shop” for the donated food, and cleanup when the market is over. We will be serving in North Denver on 48th Avenue at Focus Points Family Resource Center. It is a three-and-a-half hour commitment, and we anticipate that it will be as rewarding as it is fun.

What have you done to battle the stigmas associated with homelessness, poverty or addiction lately? When we voted against allowing people to camp in city parks, the motto of the, “Vote No,” campaign was, “We can do better.” I’ll never forget that slogan, and I want to be a part of doing better. Well Denver, let’s do some good together alongside of We Don’t Waste. Let’s feed some hungry neighbors who need our help.

Connect with other people who care! Be a part of the solution! Feel GREAT about how you spend a Tuesday morning in February! Hang with Sheri and me (we are kind of fun sometimes)!

To express interest, to ask questions or to confirm your spot on the volunteer team, please just reply to this email. We hope to serve our community alongside you! Thanks for considering this mission, and thanks for being part of the Stigma community!

Matt and Sheri Salis

Published by Matt Salis

Matt Salis is a high-functioning alcoholic in recovery who is working to end the stigma associated with addiction and related conditions such as homelessness and mental illness.

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