Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath says patients at Hamilton Health Sciences deserve meals that are fresh and locally prepared. On June 25, Hamilton Health Sciences Board of Directors will vote on a proposal to outsource food preparation from the hospital’s in-house kitchen, to factory production in Ottawa and the GTA.
“My mom and dad worked hard so my brothers, sister and I could enjoy good fresh home-cooked meals. It’s something I’ve passed on to my son. It’s tough enough when our loved ones are in hospital. They deserve healthy, fresh and locally prepared meals. Would the Premier really want her loved ones eating what amounts to frozen TV dinners? ” asked Horwath. “Kathleen Wynne should be supporting fresh food for patients and good jobs in our hospital kitchens, not cutting funding and forcing hospitals to truck in factory prepared food. It’s not too late for her to show that she thinks patients should come first.”
Hospital funding in Ontario has been frozen for the past four years, forcing hospitals to cut services to keep up with inflation. Hamilton Health Sciences is cutting an estimated $25 million in 2014-15 alone.
“This Premier said she wasn’t going to cut healthcare; she’s cutting healthcare. The Premier said local food was a priority; she’s putting factory food ahead of local meals. She promised Ontarians they could expect better. Sadly, it’s more cuts and it’s families who are paying the price,” said Horwath.
In 2013 the Kathleen Wynne passed the Local Food Act. New Democrats said at the time the bill was more about spin than a commitment to local food. In 2010, Horwath introduced Private Members Legislation that set out clear targets for government ministries to buy local food.