Veterans will get home cooked meals again

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Health Minister Dave Wilson announced that home cooked meals will be served to veterans from now on.

Veterans living at the Sutherland Harris Memorial Hospital in Pictou will once again have home-cooked meals.

Health and Wellness Minister David Wilson made the announcement today, June 19 after listening to the concerns of veterans in the Northumberland Veterans Unit, their families and other community members this past year.

In May 2012, the Pictou County Health Authority changed its meal preparation at the hospital to be more efficient. Veterans didn't like the change and the province asked the health authority to re-evaluate the approach.

"Some people weren't happy when the meals were changed. I want the veterans and their families to know that the province and the district health authority heard their concerns, and we've decided to go back to home-cooked meals for veterans who live at this facility," said Wilson.

A task force found that veterans, their families and some community advocates, said the new food was not living up to all the elements of a good meal.

"After all the work put into this issue by the task group members and the veterans, it is gratifying to know government listened to our concerns and heard our feedback," said Michael Simmons, pastor for the veterans' unit and co-chair of the task group review. "I know the veterans will appreciate this and we'll all be looking forward to the change."

The Northumberland Veterans Unit is home to 20 veterans. They should begin receiving home-cooked meals again within two months.

Pat Lee, CEO of Pictou County Health Authority, supported the work of the task force and the change.

"Mealtime is an important part of the veterans' lives and we want them to be as happy with their meals as possible," said Lee. "This announcement is high priority and we will treat it as such."

Organizations: Northumberland Veterans Unit, Pictou County Health Authority, Sutherland Harris Memorial Hospital in Pictou

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Recent comments

  • Gina H.
    June 19, 2013 - 15:30

    Pretty sad they had to be publically shamed into doing this, but I'm glad they were. Funny the province has money for now paying the costs for anyone wanting a sex change, putting 84 No Stopping signs on the Pictou causeway and hundreds of millions for wealthy big businesses, but didn't have any to supplement the veterans a few dollars to have a hot meal instead of a frozen tv dinner? Say hello to the real NDP.

  • Doug
    June 19, 2013 - 14:19

    Great that these incredible people will again get the meals they so deserve! However, lets not see this act throught rose-coloured glasses. The current government cares nothing for these folks, or they would not have switched them to lesser food to begin with. This was a blatant face-saving PR act on the threshold of a provincial election and nothing more!

  • daughter of veteran
    June 19, 2013 - 08:33

    it wonderful that the vets are going back to home cooked meals, To say the government listenend wel lthey created the problem in the first place, Someof the people who are saying now how glad they are were on the "other" side of the fence before this announcement, Bravo for the vets!!

  • jr
    June 19, 2013 - 08:05

    It is nice to finally see this worked out. These men and women fought for our freedom and many paid with thier own lives for us. They deserve the best that can be given to them as you could have asked no more of a person tha what they have given and gone through.

  • Norma MacDougall
    June 18, 2013 - 21:51

    It's a shame that it took Pat Lee and the Pictou County Health Authority more than 12 months to realize that mealtime was an important part of the Veterans' lives, congratulations to the Veterans and their families for winning a battle that should have never happened.

  • Karin MacDonald
    June 18, 2013 - 19:26

    This is wonderful news. I was afraid these poor people would continue to spend their final time living on the terrible food that was being served to them. I personally know a cook there and he was so good to the veterans. He would make them special meals and take requests. he put his heart and soul into it. He will be just elated knowing what he can once again do to make them a more comfortable life .Darcy, I know you must be very pleased today. I'm so happy that your department has listened to the mass majority and righted a wrong.

  • Brandy
    June 18, 2013 - 17:40

    Great news!

  • taxpayer
    June 18, 2013 - 16:30

    yes its good that they are going to get home cooked meals back again they never should have stopped them in the first place pat lee and the rest of the health board should resign just show you how much they cared for the vets only thing they care about is the money its good to see the health minster finally step in and made the right choice to stop the tv dinner which he shouldn't have done right from the start

  • D & L Sutherland
    June 18, 2013 - 15:47

    It seems a hollow victory. While we are delighted the veterans and their supporters have triumphed over the most powerful bureaucrats and politicians, clearly much damage has been done to many people. Regrettably, I do not see an apology from PCHA CEO Pat Lee, or his board of directors, or acknowledgement that their decision to feed frozen TV dinners to the vets to balance their budget was ill-conceived. Their public profile has diminished as has that of the three MLAs, the MP, the Legion, and others. This issue rallied the community against those responsible and it’s a testament to how public opinion can move mountains. So many have demonstrated their support for the veterans and they deserve our thanks for their tenacity. The Evening News and Advocate deserve special thanks for allowing the public debate to unfold.

  • Lesley Macdonald
    June 18, 2013 - 15:05

    Kudos Bernie Currie - well done!!!

  • Irene
    June 18, 2013 - 14:31

    Pat Lee, CEO of Pictou County Health Authority, supported the work of the task force and the change. "Mealtime is an important part of the veterans' lives and we want them to be as happy with their meals as possible," said Lee. "This announcement is high priority and we will treat it as such." Imagine ,Just sit back and Imagine this statement coming now a year late,isn't this the same guy who amongst others on the Board decided to save a few lousy bucks and feed the Ole Vets tv dinners the rest of their lives,the audacicty of such a statement is beyond belief,jump on the bandwagon fast Pat,You should immediatly RESIGN your post and collect your so called Entitlement!! i am so glad the Ole Vets will finally get some real food and enjoy the rest of their days after putting life and limb on the line for us to be able to live in peace,Thanks goes out to the ones who carried this fight to the finish,Congrats to your success.

  • JLM
    June 18, 2013 - 14:12

    Fantastic news - proves that we, the little people, CAN make a difference by not forgetting about this issue, or moving on to the next one because this was taking far too long....

  • Karen
    June 18, 2013 - 14:11

    So happy that the Veterans' will be getting home cooked meals again! It's the least we can do for them. I wish it was effective immediately rather then in 2 months time- but our voices have been heard and they are doing the right thing.