Published On: 27 September 2022Categories: Stories

Grant Rockliff (pictured in the Loaves and Fishes warehouse) is passionate about sourcing the best Tasmanian produce to help feed his struggling neighbors.

Motivation for the Loaves and Fishes food procurement coordinator is both personal and professional.

Grant, 25, says some of his happiest childhood memories are growing up on a farm in Harford, but also remembers the pain and anxiety at 14 of having to move in with his grandmother in East Devonport, quit school, and go to work after his mother’s latest marriage ended as a result of domestic violence.

“We would have been on the street if it had not been for our grandmother,” Grant said.

“To make matters worse, my pop had died four months earlier.

“We would definitely have been getting food from Loaves and Fishes if they existed back then.

“I had to get a part-time job at Macca’s and left school in Year 10 to get fulltime work.”

Grant said hardship forged a strong bond with his grandmother, mother, and half-sister, Emily (EJ), who also works for Loaves and Fishes in the front office.

Grant has been tasked with sourcing more donated food from Tasmanian suppliers for use in the organisation’s emergency food relief programs ranging from school breakfast clubs to crisis hampers and ready-made meals.

He has a strong connection to the land, from his early days on the family farm to working on dairy farms across the state, as a cheesemaker, and for a labor-hire firm placing employees in agriculture.

“Some of my happiest memories are from the family farm baling hay, picking peas out of the pod, and working on irrigators in the cool of the evening,” he said.

He met his wife of almost two years, Laura, while working on the land at King Island.

Grant is keen to acknowledge and strengthen existing partnerships and develop new food sources.

“Fruit, dairy and eggs, and more winter crops are some of the staples we need a lot of,” he said.

“We’re currently buying 220l of milk every week just for our breakfast program.”

Grant admits he was shocked to learn of the scale of hunger within Tasmania, given the abundance of fresh local produce available.

“It’s a fantastic organisation doing very necessary work at a time of great need in our State.”


Grant and Laura

Grant and wife Laura on their wedding day . . . still on the land!

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