Author Topic: Food Complaints @ Camp Hill => Gov't Dietician Taking a Look  (Read 4904 times)

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5 Aug 12, The Canadian Press:
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Some elderly residents of a veterans hospital in Halifax are asking that someone take a closer look at the food they're being served, claiming it is bland, overcooked, hard to eat and low on nutritional value.

Jack Walsh, an 84-year-old former member of the merchant navy, said he has raised the issue several times with officials at Camp Hill Veterans Memorial hospital but hasn't had much luck in improving the meals.

Walsh, who entered the hospital two years ago following a stroke and the death of his wife, said he expected the food would be akin to home-cooked meals, but finds it is often cold, tasteless and tough from being reheated 24 hours after it was cooked.

"You expect your food to be pleasant," he said, sitting in his wheelchair in the bright common room of his hospital wing.

"You know, our last days are here, we know that. We know the only way we're going to get out of here is to pass away, so we'd like to have something that would be appetizing and healthy."

Cliff Trites, a 90-year-old veteran who shuttled secret messages on a motorbike as a dispatch rider during the Second World War, moved into the hospital last March. He said he has lost 30 pounds since then because he finds the food "unpalatable."

Trites, now in a wheelchair because of the many "spills" he suffered during the war, said he goes out every week to buy cans of soup and fresh fruit to supplement or replace hospital fare.

Trites, who serves on the hospital's food committee with Walsh, said the veterans should have a separate kitchen to prepare their food since they are not temporary residents like some of the 1,200 people at other facilities in the city for whom the hospital kitchen cooks meals ....


11 Aug 12, Halifax Chronicle-Herald
Quote
Veterans Affairs critic Peter Stoffer will tour a Halifax veteran’s hospital next week after patients complained about mushy, reheated and generally unpalatable food.

Stoffer says he wants to make sure Camp Hill Veterans Memorial is doing everything it can to provide the elderly war vets with the best quality meals.

The NDP MP plans to visit the hospital Tuesday, having already received permission from Capital Health’s director of hospitality services.

He said he’ll examine all sides by talking to patients, to staff in charge of food services, and to employees who prepare the food ....


14 Aug 12, CBC.ca
Quote
The Veterans Affairs Minister, Steven Blaney, will appoint a dietitian to review the food at the Camp Hill Veterans' Memorial Building in Halifax after veterans complained about the quality, according to a spokesman.

Long-term care residents at Camp Hill receive $42 a day from Veterans Affairs Canada to fund food, a dietician, staff and supplies. Last week veterans at the home called for an independent audit, labelling the food bland and undercooked.

The food facility at the Queen Elizabeth centre prepares food for four Capital Health sites, including the veterans' building. While some of the veterans' food is prepared 24 hours in advance, Capital Health says a lot of care is put into the food ....
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Offline X Royal

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Re: Food Complaints @ Camp Hill => Gov't Dietician Taking a Look
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2012, 10:59:41 »
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Long-term care residents at Camp Hill receive $42 a day from Veterans Affairs Canada to fund food, a dietician, staff and supplies.
For that kind of money they should be eating very good food. And yes I believe they are entitled to it. If the food is poor than the money is not being spent appropriately.
Many seniors in Ontario Government funded senior homes are feed on a 1/10th of that cost. Yes the food sucks but $42 a day is not being spent.
Even in London, Ont. all three hospitals food is cooked at one hospital & trucked to the others. The food quality sucks here also as cooking food in advance then storing in insulated containers for shipment generally leaves luke warm food at best. Toast and eggs at breakfast - forget it as it doesn't keep & travel.

Our Vets Deserve Better.
And yes it's being paid for but not delivered.

Offline milnews.ca

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Re: Food Complaints @ Camp Hill => Gov't Dietician Taking a Look
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2012, 13:06:18 »
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Long-term care residents at Camp Hill receive $42 a day from Veterans Affairs Canada to fund food, a dietician, staff and supplies.
For that kind of money they should be eating very good food. And yes I believe they are entitled to it. If the food is poor than the money is not being spent appropriately.
If my math is right, that's almost $2.7 million/year just to feed these 175 guys - that strikes me as a SERIOUS chunk of change, when you consider nursing homes in Ontario get around $7.30/day/soul for food (or ~$470K/year for 175 folks) and Ontario correctional facilities get ~$11/day/soul (or ~$407K/year for 175 mouths to feed) for feeding "guests" (ref for those figures here).
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Offline jollyjacktar

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Re: Food Complaints @ Camp Hill => Gov't Dietician Taking a Look
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2012, 13:12:14 »
I listened to Peter Stoffer on this subject being interviewed on radio the other day.  I believe he said it came out to $12/day for food after the other expenses were taken from the $42/day.  They should be able to feed them better than that.  We are fed on a ration of about $10/day on ship IIRC and we eat better than I do at home overall.  Something needs to be done better for these folks, I hope they get their act together soon.

Offline Trinity

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Re: Food Complaints @ Camp Hill => Gov't Dietician Taking a Look
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2012, 21:20:42 »
Something similar came up in Alberta news recently in regards to nursing home food.  Food was being cook centrally and then sent out to far reaches of the provinces to homes to be reheated later and not tasty.
The end result was a ruling that food will be cooked in the same institution it's being served in.  So change in this situation is possible. 
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Offline Words_Twice

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Re: Food Complaints @ Camp Hill => Gov't Dietician Taking a Look
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2012, 22:57:08 »
They feed Federal inmates for about 8 bucks a day, and they eat like kings (a buddy of mine is a Corrections Canada guard at William Head in Victoria). Our elderly veterans deserve so much more than felons do.

Offline Canadian.Trucker

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Re: Food Complaints @ Camp Hill => Gov't Dietician Taking a Look
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2012, 23:19:13 »
They feed Federal inmates for about 8 bucks a day, and they eat like kings (a buddy of mine is a Corrections Canada guard at William Head in Victoria). Our elderly veterans deserve so much more than felons do.
+5 to that.

Veterans deserve to be given the care they have earned.  Food is such a simple thing to do well if you get down to it, but it can mean the world.  Think about it, I know my morale has been lifted before by a good meal.  I wish my wife read these forums, I'd make a comment and suck up about her cooking.
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Offline X Royal

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Re: Food Complaints @ Camp Hill => Gov't Dietician Taking a Look
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2012, 17:43:54 »
For $42 a day I'm sure there will be many local restaurants who would be willing to deliver 3 good (& hot) appetizing meals a day which will meet  the Canadian food guidelines. At that price I'm sure they would also give the residents a few different options for each meal.
I know if I was a local restaurateur I would see this as a cash cow at $42 a day (times - 175 residents).
Yes the residents deserve far better than they are getting and the money is being spent. ::)

Offline Words_Twice

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Re: Food Complaints @ Camp Hill => Gov't Dietician Taking a Look
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2012, 20:13:18 »
For $42 a day I'm sure there will be many local restaurants who would be willing to deliver 3 good (& hot) appetizing meals a day which will meet  the Canadian food guidelines. At that price I'm sure they would also give the residents a few different options for each meal.
I know if I was a local restaurateur I would see this as a cash cow at $42 a day (times - 175 residents).
Yes the residents deserve far better than they are getting and the money is being spent. ::)

That is an outstanding idea. I understand the Reserves these days get catered meals from the local economy if CF dining facilities or IMPs are not available. I hear the food is not too bad (has to be better than the hayboxes we got in Wainwright 25 years ago), why not do it for these elderly vets?

Offline PrairieThunder

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Re: Food Complaints @ Camp Hill => Gov't Dietician Taking a Look
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2012, 21:11:42 »
I'd even be willing to give up another $50/month if it meant that our Vets received better.

One thing I can't tolerate is the mistreatment of our elders, let alone elderly Veterans (or Vets period).

My grandfather fought at the beaches of Dieppe and survived through the rest of the war in a Nazi prison camp, I sure as hell made sure he was taken care of in the time he still had left. The government should be doing the same. Oh wait, politicians are more important than our Living History.

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Re: Food Complaints @ Camp Hill => Gov't Dietician Taking a Look
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2012, 01:52:08 »
I'd even be willing to give up another $50/month if it meant that our Vets received better.

One thing I can't tolerate is the mistreatment of our elders, let alone elderly Veterans (or Vets period).

My grandfather fought at the beaches of Dieppe and survived through the rest of the war in a Nazi prison camp, I sure as hell made sure he was taken care of in the time he still had left. The government should be doing the same. Oh wait, politicians are more important than our Living History.

Thank you for your alleged dedication, righteous indignation and cynicism. All in one post.

Inspirational.

Where's the viable remedy?
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Offline Words_Twice

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Re: Food Complaints @ Camp Hill => Gov't Dietician Taking a Look
« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2012, 20:00:16 »
It seems to me that if 30 bucks of the 42 is consumed by "overhead", then the overhead has to be trimmed, not the quality of food these veterans are getting. How hard can it be to prepare a menu? I understand that many of these elderly gentleman require special diets, but again, if the facility has a set of diets (low sodium, low fat, allergie accomadation etc), it seems to me that once these menus and recipies are established, what is the purpose of having staff and a full time dietition gobble up a huge portion of the money allocated to feed these men?

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Re: Food Complaints @ Camp Hill => Gov't Dietician Taking a Look
« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2012, 07:04:25 »
An update, in a column in the home-town newspaper:
Quote
....  In July, Jack Walsh, chairman of the food committee, criticized the bland and tasteless meals. Back then, even Walsh did not know the cause: everything, even grilled cheese sandwiches, was prepared 24 to 36 hours in advance, chilled and then reheated just before serving.

Veterans Affairs immediately ordered a financial audit and a quality review. NDP veterans affairs critic Peter Stoffer dropped in. He discovered the kitchen was making mashed potatoes from dried flakes — despite a daily budget of $42.27 per veteran.

Now four months later, Walsh, 85, says there have been three improvements: ham is served at breakfast, there’s more fresh fruit, and frozen mashed potatoes have replaced the dried.

But the food is still being made at least a day early and then reheated.

“We still have tough meat, tough fish, tough chicken.” He pauses. “I can’t figure out tough chicken.”

Personally, I can’t figure out frozen mashed potatoes. How hard is it to make fresh, especially when a spokesman for the minister of veterans affairs says the new audit confirms 100 per cent of the money is spent on food.

Meanwhile, the quality report, by a nutrition consultant at
St. Francis Xavier University, is also ready.

Last week, Krista Locke, regional director of veterans affairs, declined comment. On Wednesday, Locke met with Walsh to discuss the report. She insisted he come alone, without his committee. He managed to bring his vice-chairman, Henry Cooke, and someone to take notes.

At the meeting, Locke refused to give the vets a copy of the quality report, saying administrators had to see it first. She also instructed Walsh not to tell me about the meeting.

“I’m a little pissed off,” he said. “I don’t know why everything’s so secretive.”

Wasn’t the Second World War about fighting for freedom, including of speech?

Even as Locke met with Walsh, however, the Veterans Affairs Department was emailing me the 60-page report. And since Walsh has been muzzled, allow me to reveal a few recommendations from the report:

Switch from individual packets of condiments to table-size bottles.

Change servers’ uniforms from hospital garb to “hospitality” outfits.

Serve salads from a big bowl.

The report cost $13,500. Unfortunately, the main problem — reheating day-old food — is only something to “explore” in the “medium term,” which isn’t defined. And in the “longer term,” which also isn’t defined, the report muses about renovating the kitchen and hiring a chef for the vets. It’s what this column — hey, at no charge! — suggested in July ....
No sign of the columnist sharing the report at this point, so we can't tell what else is in it.
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