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Through the CMV Group Foundation, it was our pleasure to present the St Vincent de Paul Society (Vinnies) with a fully-equipped Toyota HiAce van, at our CMI Toyota dealership earlier this year. This vehicle will play a vital role in their ‘Fred’s Van’ food service across South Australia, which supports some of the most vulnerable people in our community experiencing a range of issues such as homelessness, social isolation and unemployment.

Fred’s Van has over 500 volunteers and provides approximately 550 meals a week. Those forced to live roughly can access Fred’s Van for a hot and nutritious meal, blankets, clothing and food vouchers, books, referrals to other community service and government agencies, as well as to engage in social connection.

Vinnies CEO, Michelle Kemp, and Fundraising, Marketing and Communications General Manager, Kristi Hermsen, were very excited to visit our West Terrace dealership to receive the keys from CMI Toyota General Manager, Drew Ford and Corporate Account Manager, James George-Corbyn, who worked closely with the organisation on the project.

“Vinnies has enjoyed a very positive partnership with CMI Toyota and the CMV Group, and we are pleased to be the beneficiaries of this very generous CMV Group Foundation grant. The CMV Group doesn’t just talk the talk when it comes to corporate social responsibility – they really do walk the walk, and Vinnies’ ability to serve people facing or at risk of homelessness is enhanced because of it,” said Michelle

Enhancements to the HiAce van were donated thanks to Scrap Hotline and completed through Willshire Motor Trimmers. This included power, lighting and seating for the volunteers, as well as food storage compartments. An awning was also added to the van to ensure that, even in wet weather, volunteers can still serve those in need. Willshire also kindly donated the motorized electric step to ensure easy access to the side of the vehicle.

The existing Fred’s Van was 14 years old and had a manual transmission, so the brand-new vehicle is a welcome upgrade. As well as being more accessible due to its larger size, its automatic transmission allows for greater flexibility as more volunteers can now get behind the wheel.

More recently, CMV Group Director of Group Operations Anthony Casey, who is also a Vinnies CEO Sleepout ambassador, and CMV Group Senior Executive Manager Daniel Crawford helped out at the official launch of the van, pictured below.

Find out more about the Fred’s Van food service and get involved here.