Loaves and Fishes Tasmania is forging strong relationships within Clarence Plains since opening an emergency food relief kitchen at the Grace Centre, Rokeby.
The Grace Centre, home of the former Rokeby Tavern, is also home to One Community Together, a dynamic collective of residents, community groups and organisations serving the suburbs of Clarendon Vale, Glebe Hill, Oakdowns and Rokeby.
One Community Together exists to support a thriving Clarence Plains community through the delivery of many projects throughout the year, all developed with the local community. This can include events such as the annual hard waste and rubbish clean up, Clean the Plains which coincides with Clean up Australia Day, the Clarence Plains Community Awards, hosting community conversations and celebrations, a local Landcare group, as well as delivering literacy and numeracy programs.
Loaves and Fishes general manager Aaron Kropf said One Community Together was having a profound impact in the community and had helped Loaves and Fishes get established since opening the kitchen at the start of 2023.
“While we distribute food statewide, we are part of a dynamic community and want to be part of the community transformation that is taking place here,” he said.
“We have already started assisting with providing food and assisting with meals and catering for One Community and other local events.
“They have been successful in not telling the community what to do, but truly identifying needs and responding to what the community wants.
“There’s so much more we can do together going forward.”
Loaves and Fishes honoured with award
One Community Together has been quick to recognise the local contribution of Loaves and Fishes, honouring the organisation with two awards at the recent Clarence Plains community presentations; one for community service, the other for the efforts of school-based trainee Shakira McKendrick.
One Community Together project officer, Kathryn Cranny, said Loaves and Fishes had readily supported various community activities and events, prioritised hiring kitchen staff from the area and developing long term relationships.
“It is clear Loaves and Fishes truly consider themselves as an integral part of the community. They have readily supported various local activities and events, such as supplying catering for our annual awards night and sponsoring catering for a fundraising event organised by a local resident,” she said.
“We are excited about future opportunities. Pat, the chef, and his team of local trainees will be taking part alongside us and other community stakeholders. They will use the wood fired pizza oven to help prepare free pizzas during the event, which is open to the public. We look forward to future partnerships to deliver events in this community space.”