Al Ollington




By Paul O'Rourke


Loaves and Fishes is proud to partner with Gran’s Van in providing help to those in Devonport doing it tough.

The Loaves and Fishes food hub on Don Road provides storage, meals and a safe place to park the Gran’s Van vehicle. Gran’s Van moved into the Don Road warehouse early in 2021 due to renovations and a resulting lack of space at Devonport Church of Christ.

Gran’s Van is a much-loved and respected community organisation that has been distributing meals, canned goods, blankets, sleeping bags and toiletries to the region’s poor and homeless since 2006.

Gran’s Van serves the community four nights a week, complementing the work done by other local food and care agencies.

Next month the organisation founded by former Devonport mayor Mary Binks will add a truck and trailer offering showers, washing machines, dryers and a meeting/consulting space potentially offering dental and medical checkups for the community’s most vulnerable.

Gran’s Van coordinator Al Ollington (pictured above in the new storage space within Loaves and Fishes) said he was thankful for the support of Loaves and Fishes which has enabled all the organisation’s work to come under the one roof.

“Nothing is ever too much trouble for Aaron and Dan at Loaves and Fishes,” he said.

“It has been absolutely brilliant to store everything on site at the Don Road warehouse.”

Gran’s Van has seen a steady increase in demand for its services in the past few months, coinciding with the end of Government COVID support payments.

The Sunday night service which usually operates only in winter is expected to continue into the warmer months to meet demand.

Loaves and Fishes general manager Aaron Kropf said he was proud to partner with Gran’s Van.

“Gran’s Van is an institution in this city that has consistently provided excellent care to the most disadvantaged.

“We have the space and the food and the desire to serve other organisations in the food relief space.”

Gran’s Van serves up to 20 people each night, a mix of people living on the streets, couch surfing, living in substandard housing or simply unable to make ends meet.

“We have many regular clients, and hope to reach a broader spectrum of the community with the daytime shower and laundry service,” Al said.

“We work closely with other agencies to meet the other needs our clients may need.”

Gran’s Van stops on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday nights at 23 Oldaker Street, from 7pm-7:15pm, and 108 Tarleton Street, East Devonport, from 7:45pm-8pm.