Mobile Food Markets Serve Free Food to Families in Globeville, Elyria, and Swansea

Photo courtesy of We Don’t Waste

Each month, residents of the Globeville, Elyria, and Swansea (GES) neighborhoods are invited to join local nonprofit We Don’t Waste at one of their monthly Mobile Food Markets. The markets provide nutritious food—packages of proteins, healthy dairy products, and bundles of fresh produce—at three GES locations each month. The food is distributed at no charge.

Anyone in need can shop for free food at the Mobile Food Markets. Attendees can select the items that they want and need from a selection of produce, dairy, proteins, bakery products, and shelf-stable products.

Upcoming GES markets will be held at the following locations on the following dates:

Tuesday, April 26, walk-up farmers market, Garden Place Academy (4425 Lincoln Street), from 2:30-4 p.m.

Tuesday, May 3, drive-thru market (2545 E. 40th Avenue), from 1-2:30 p.m.

Tuesday, May 10, drive-thru market, Focus Points Family Resource Center (2645 E. 48th Avenue), from 1-3 p.m.

Tuesday, May 24, walk-up farmers market, Garden Place Academy, from 2:30-4 p.m.

Since 2009, We Don’t Waste has worked to reduce hunger and food waste in the Denver area by recovering high-quality, unused food. Back in 2018, however, they realized they weren’t touching some of the 50 or so areas in Denver that qualify as food deserts. In early 2019, they began partnering with local organizations to bring mobile food markets to some of these areas, including locations in GES just north and south of I-70.

“From the start, the markets have been tremendously successful,” says We Don’t Waste founder and Executive Director Arlan Preblud. “Over the past couple years, many people in Globeville, Elyria, and Swansea suffered health and employment-related impacts of COVID and lacked easy access to grocery stores and food pantries. These same neighborhoods have also been affected by the ongoing Central 70 Project. To continue serving these vulnerable populations, we switched to a contactless, drive-thru market model while still allowing people to choose the food they want and how much they need.”

At the height of the pandemic, We Don’t Waste hosted up to 10 mobile markets each month. Currently, they host six to eight Denver Mobile Food Markets per month. At present, all of the markets are drive-thru except for the market at Garden Place Academy, which is a more traditional farmers market. We Don’t Waste can accommodate walk-up attendees at all markets, though they ask that people drive up if they have access to a vehicle.

As much as 40% of all food goes unsold or uneaten in the United States. Instead of being consumed, this food ends up in landfills, where it decomposes and releases methane—a greenhouse gas up to 87 times more potent than CO2.

At the same time, as many as one in three Coloradans is experiencing food insecurity. The rate is even higher for people of color and households with children. In fact, according to recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the cost of eating at home is up 8.6% year over year, which means programs that reach historically underserved communities are more important than ever.

Around 13 years ago, Preblud made it his mission to deliver as much excess food as possible to local food banks. Led by his passion and vision, We Don’t Waste has grown into the largest unaffiliated food recovery operation in Colorado.

Today, We Don’t Waste focuses mostly on fresh foods that would otherwise go to waste. Along with surplus from caterers, event venues, and restaurants, they’ve built relationships with food wholesalers and grocery stores. They directly and indirectly distribute food to more than 230 agencies, nonprofit partners, food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, schools, and daycare programs. To date, they’ve diverted 165 million servings of food away from landfills and onto people’s plates.

The organization’s services, programming, and impact continue to grow across the Denver metro area. With 20 full-time staff and one furry chief of security, Finley, We Don’t Waste now operates a 11,750 square foot Food Recovery and Distribution Center, four refrigerated trucks, and a new van. To finance their ambitious efforts, We Don’t Waste relies on grants, foundations, corporate giving, and individual donations.

“It’s important to know that food insecurity exists in GES and throughout Denver,” says Preblud. “We encourage everyone to take the food they need, consume what they take, and look out for the wellbeing of their neighbors. Nutritious, delicious food should go to people, not end up in landfills. It really is that simple.”

This simple concept is having a massive impact: by saving food, We Don’t Waste is also helping to protect the planet and feed families and individuals in need. It’s a combination that’s hard to beat–and one that benefits greatly from community support.

How You Can Get Involved

The steady growth of We Don’t Waste means they can always use more volunteers and more corporate and individual donations. To seek help, volunteer, learn about educational programs, or donate money or food, visit or call 720-443-6113. To check out the market schedule, visit

Swansea resident Carolyn Daughters runs, a woman-owned business that offers online marketing and writing courses and corporate brand strategy workshops. She also teaches persuasive writing for corporations, the Pentagon, and Air Force bases nationwide. She has a M.A. in Literature from the University of Virginia. You can contact her at

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.