Progress being made MLA says
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Veterans still waiting for fresh supper
Rethermalized meals continue to be served at night
The Pictou County Health Authority directors understand the concerns that some people have about veterans who are still receiving re-thermalized meals at the Northumberland Veterans Wing in Pictou, but say progress is coming.
“We recognize that there are concerns, but we’ve made progress,” health authority spokesperson Eileen MacIsaac said. “There have been changes that got underway almost immediately.”
MacIsaac said that while they weren’t able to get all of the meals switched over yet, two meals a day are now cooked on location and the third is scheduled to be on Sept. 15. Other steps towards that goal such as purchasing a food cart have also been done.
The veterans continue to have their breakfast meals made on location and their lunches are now made there too. The only meal remaining to be changed is supper.
She said part of the hold up has been waiting to get the proper staffing. That will be dealt with shortly, she said.
“We will be able to have full staff in place in September,” she said.
In May 2012, the Pictou County Health Authority changed its meal preparation to re-thermalized meals at both the Aberdeen Hospital and the Northumberland Veterans Wing to save money. This meant 65 per cent of the food being served at these places was frozen, reheated and served to patients and veterans. Before the change, 35 per cent of the meals were reheated meals.
In June of this year, the province announced that they would have fresh meals served to the veterans again.
There has been ongoing discussion with the veterans and their families to make sure that the food that’s served is the kind that the veterans want. Items that the veterans don’t like are taken from the menu.
MacIsaac said there’s also been a focus on giving veterans more time for their meal. That does impact staffing, she said and requires some of the staff members’ hours to be changed.