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Robin Food and his Merry Men

Arlan Preblud turns leftovers into lifesavers.

Once, amid the fluttering, wind-blown papers of a law office, there sat a man who, his work all done, could have easily retired to a life of rest and leisure. But, rather than sit in his study, counting coins, meats, cheeses, breads and sandwiches on his scales, this man did hatch a plan. For like the mythical Robin Hood, this man was an innovator. But unlike that noble bandit of Britain, this man had a lawful plan. For this man, his given name Arlan Preblud, saw that the venues and stadiums, the restaurants and catering companies prepared incredible food for their guests. At the end of the day, there was still food to spare, but its final destination was often the trash. So Arlan donned his Lincoln green cap with feather attached and set out to seek the meals, so perfectly portioned and prepared, that some would toss aside. One man’s unserved food, even still warm, fresh and untouched, is another man’s meal treasure. He would make sure that the food that was going to waste would find its way to hungry hands. Arlan used his know-how; he rolled up his sleeves and read through the lines of the law. When he was done, We Don’t Waste was new born. The hungry were fed, and there was no wasted food, only happiness in its stead. The End.

New Noble Causes

Of course, that’s not the end. It’s only the beginning. After starting We Don’t Waste in fall of 2009, Arlan Preblud, like Robin Hood, went on finding new ways to do more good. He holds dear the ideal that every person deserves a helping hand, even if it’s as simple as a single meal, and a second chance. He turned his retirement and a lot of wasted food into something positive and uplifting for the vulnerable people of Denver. At first it was just him and a van. Picking up food and delivering it to the organizations and places with the great need. Soon, it was working so well that he sat down with the city’s major event and sporting venues and convinced them of the mission. His leadership is thorough and never haphazard. Arlan utilized his knowledge of the law, as Robin used his knowledge of noble society, to ensure that We Don’t Waste does everything right. And safely too. There’s a reason that Robin Hood almost never got caught. He was smart and sly, especially the Disney one. Arlan is the same.

Those smarts and that cunning meant that Arlan also knew when to build a team. Robin Food’s Merry Team drive three refrigerated trucks, operate out of an 11,500 sq. foot Food Distribution Center and in 2017 distributed over 10,000,000 meals to those less fortunate. You’ve probably seen them around town. Under Arlan’s watchful eye, as the Executive Director, the staff and volunteers keep the food train rolling down the tracks. Going beyond food, Arlan looks out for personal hygiene items for everyday life. It all seems like a simple idea, right? That’s why it’s such a good one. Arlan not only brings basic supplies to the people who need them, he also brings them dignity, and the opportunity to often eat better food than they could purchase on a tight budget. He gives them the chance to eat nutritious food when many may not have done so in months or longer. And most of all, Arlan shows all of us, from the hungry to the foodies, that there’s a hero of Sherwood Forest even in Denver. Just don’t expect to see any of these folks wearing green tights.