Media conference Monday, 11 a.m., Gage Park community garden
HAMILTON, ON – Since late last month, when Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) dietary staff made it public that the hospital intends to shut down its kitchens and outsource patient meals to a factory-food operation that plates microwavable portions, the community campaign to keep hospital food local has picked up steam.
Hundreds of people from the Hamilton area are signing petitions and postcards in support of the campaign to keep HHS hospitals cooking from scratch, using more locally grown food, say organizers behind HamiltonFoodFight.com.
“What’s clear,” says Dave Murphy president of Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) 7800 “is, that there are a lot of people in Hamilton, who like us, think that patient care should include a food first approach and that nutritional food is important for patients’ recovery. They agree that the hospital should improve patient meals by doing the cooking in-house, from scratch using as much local food as possible. And that means no plated, microwavable food and no preformed chicken coming from Asia.”
An update media conference is slated for Monday, June 15 at 11 a.m. at Hamilton’s Gage Park community garden.
Jan VanderHout, vice-chair of the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association and a local cucumber farmer, will join campaign organizers Monday morning.
Details of a patient satisfaction discharge survey from an eastern Ontario hospital where food was outsourced to a similar factory-food operation as the one HHS is now considering, will also be released at the media conference. The survey also shows that patient satisfaction with hospital meals has gone down with each successive year since the hospital outsourced in 2010.
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