© AMY MACKENZIE – THE NEWS
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."