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Veteran’s son hopes for action from food review - Sutherland Harris Memorial Hos

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Sylvain Chartrand CD:
Veteran’s son hopes for action from food review
January 23, 2013 - 4:17am By MICHAEL GORMAN Truro Bureau



Bernie Currie, whose father is a resident of the Northumberland Vet­erans Unit at Sutherland Harris Memorial Hospital in Pictou, has criti­cized the quality of the food ser ved in the unit.


Results of an evaluation of the food served to veterans under Pictou County Health Authority’s care should be available next month.

The review comes more than six months after the meal program was introduced. The switch from food prepared on site to meals that are prepared elsewhere, frozen and shipped to the authority saves $70,000 annually.

Bernie Currie, an outspoken critic of the food, is a member of the committee tasked with the review of the 28-day meal cycle.

Currie’s father, Joe, is in the Northumberland Veterans Unit at Sutherland Harris Memorial Hospital in Pictou.

Bernie Currie said the 12-person committee, which includes residents, family members, care staff, the Royal Canadian Legion and Veterans Affairs Canada, will gather evaluations that the veterans do after each meal and make recommendations to the authority’s board.

Committee members have the option of eating the food during the review period.

“If we’re out there, we can eat it,” said Currie. “I just opt not to.”

He said he has had the food in the past and tasted his father’s meals when he goes to visit; other times, he brings food for his father.

Currie said he hasn’t noticed an improvement in the food since the review started.

“Everything is the status quo right now. I’m a little skeptical.”

Alan Mongraw, the authority’s vice-president corporate services, said in a previous interview that his organization has worked on the meal program since it was introduced and it made sense to do a review after the six-month mark.

Mongraw said the veterans regularly have special meal days that feature fresh baking and desserts, all produced locally.

But Currie wants to see a return to everything being prepared locally. It is his hope the review will prompt that change.

“They’ve only got 20 veterans. They have the facilities, they have the cooks, everything is set up. It’s not hard to cook for 20 individuals.”

It is Currie’s opinion that the amount of money the authority saves with the new meals program isn’t nearly enough to justify what he said is reduced food quality for the veterans.

(mgorman@herald.ca)

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