Larimer Square Chef, Troy Guard has built a reputation as Denver’s fastest growing restaurateur. However, his impact stretches far beyond Denver’s culinary culture. For the last five years, Guard has been volunteering and helping to feed the hungry and underserved populations in and around the Denver area. Guard has been teaming up with We Don’t Waste, an innovative organization that provides food for the hungry by redistributing excess healthy items from restaurants and venues. Since We Don’t Waste’s inception in 2009, they have recovered over 38 million servings of food and 11.6 million meals.
How Does “We Don’t Waste” Work?
We Don’t Waste focuses on perishable items including fresh produce, lean proteins and dairy products. The organization supplements food provided by food assistance programs with fresh food that is reclaimed from their food donors. By doing so, the recipient organizations can serve the hungry with healthy meals without increasing their operating costs. The organization, led by Executive Director, Arlan Preblud, has been an enormous help to the local community and environment. Additionally, it has established We Don’t Waste as one of the largest food recovery organizations in Colorado.
Fill A Plate for Hunger
One of the biggest events of the year for We Don’t Waste is their annual Fill A Plate for Hunger fundraiser. This year, the event took place on Thursday, September 14th. Chef Guard’s role as co-chair of the fundraiser was to gather all the top restaurants in the Denver area for the night to serve bites and elevate the dining experience. Being in its sixth year, Guard mentioned that the event this year was “bigger and better”! Over 450 guests attended the sold-out event at the Denver Botanic Gardens and enjoyed a night of fun, food and libations. Throughout the evening, guests participated in a live auction, the popular “Wine & Whiskey Wall” and other special surprises. We Don’t Waste raised over $260,000 dollars and matched the $100,000 challenge grant provided by the Salah Foundation. The amount raised was significantly more than in previous years. Preblud explained that “the funds from the event will assist We Don’t Waste in acquiring a much needed Distribution Center in order to meet the increasing demand for food by those less fortunate.”
When talking with Chef Guard, he mentioned that the mission behind We Don’t Waste was simple. “People need food. They need a meal. That is what we try to do and as much of it as we can. No one should go hungry in the country”. He also mentioned that he was inspired by Preblud to join the team and get involved because he loves helping people and strongly believes that no one should ever go without a meal. For more information regarding We Don’t Waste, visit this link.