Published On: 7 October 2020Categories: Stories

“You can’t put a price on the look of joy when you are able to provide food for people struggling to feed themselves and their families,” says Oswald “Ossi” Schneider, Hobart warehouse coordinator for Loaves and Fishes.

Ossi was drawn to emergency food relief while working as a taxi driver when he became friends with regular passenger, Loaves and Fishes general manager, and former Second Bite State manager, Aaron Kropf. Ossi has been working in the sector for seven years.

Ossi says his family and faith has been built on the premise of serving others. And Like attracts like.

Ossi is proud of the Hobart volunteers, some of whom, like Bronwyn Cracknell and Jane Bridges, have been serving for up to seven years.

“Peter Denehey hasn’t missed a day in two years and kept coming in even when the Work for the Dole program was stopped due to COVID,” Ossi said.

“I love it here,” Peter said.

“It gets me out of the house, and I’m doing something that matters.”

Unemployed for 14 years

Driver Shaine Caulfield had been unemployed for 14 years and volunteering for two with Loaves and Fishes when he joined the paid staff.

“It’s been nice to get a break,” Shaine said.

“It’s an awesome work environment.”

The Hobart team receives, collects, sorts and packs food from southern suppliers, delivers fresh produce to four regional food hubs where it’s collected by dozens of agencies, and makes up emergency food hampers on-demand for collection by charity partners.

Ossi says demand for food is increasing as Tasmania emerges from what he terms “the eye of the storm”.

“The early months of COVID was the leading edge of the typhoon as people lost their jobs or were in isolation and and wondering how they would feed their families,” he said.

“The eye of the storm was when things opened up again and JobSeeker and JobKeeper kicked in and pensioners received extra payments.

Food demand increasing

“Now demand is increasing again as the supplements are reduced and people are struggling even more.”

Ossi is thankful for generous food donors who enable Loaves and Fishes to help Tasmanians doing it tough.

Southern food donors include Scott Brothers, Robert Parkes, Banticks, Southern Fields, Houston’s Farms, Somercotes,

Coles, Inghams, Lion Milk, Tas Bakeries, Pure Foods, Cripps Bakehouse and Breadd.

We also receive generous support from SRT who help with logistics and transport between Hobart and Devonport.


By Paul O’Rourke

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