Kingston Food Fight

Message from: President, CUPE Local 1974, KGH

Kingston General Hospital is planning to buy almost all of its food in Toronto. That means millions of dollars that could be spent with farmers, merchants and workers in the Kingston area will disappear down the 401.

Kingston has always supported the Hospital. In fact, every Kingston homeowner is paying a special tax to support the Hospital Foundation. The Hospital should support us in return. The Board of Directors of the Hospital has one last chance to stop this bad deal.

In 2009, the Hospital approved a Kingston-based plan to replace the current foodservices system. The plan was developed by local people on the Hospital’s nutrition services team and included enhancing the quality of the food served to patients, staff and visitors, saving money and modernizing the kitchens. The plan also included the Hospital Women’s Auxiliary who were going to secure a well-known coffee shop franchise and turn all the profits over to the Hospital.

In 2010, the Hospital pulled the rug out from under the local agreement and opened the bid to more suppliers. The local team was not allowed to make a presentation and the foodservices contract is about to be handed to Compass Group, a multinational company that prepares its food in the Toronto area. This company will also own the new coffee shop franchise that the Women’s Auxiliary was supposed to have.

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10 Responses to Kingston Food Fight

  1. Joan Robertson says:

    This is absolute rubbish. I can not imagine how KGH can justify this. Communities grow strong by supporting local businesses. Where is the petition to sign? I would certainly support any petition to present to the Board of Directors. Hopefully sane minds will prevail, with enough pressure from the public.

  2. Marlene McQueen says:

    It is not fair to the people of Kingston, surrounding areas and workers connected to the hospital. Next we will hear is that layoffs will happen. Keep the local economy strong and in return keep Kingston on the map. Why isn’t Kingston lobbying for a manufacturer to produce the needed food supplies for our Hospital? Our mayor said there is commercial property to be built upon — isn’t there a company who likes Kingston that just might build such a facility for local food use if approached the right way and which will also put more of our people to work.

  3. Jen Potvin says:

    Due to the fact I am paying through my taxes to support Kingston General Hospital all jobs including the food should remain in Kingston. The food brought in from outside is most times terrible you get what they want to give you as they have the job so alot of patients cannot eat the food due to age and menu, support our farmers , workers, merchants, we are paying for the hospital and huge renovations and additiions so do not send this job outside of Kingston make our hospital the best one in Ontario by keeping all jobs here as we care and love our city

  4. johanne valiquette says:

    I would really hate to see this happen, it makes economical sense to stay local.
    From an environmental point of view,consider the amount of traveling (distance and quantity) that would be reduced thus eliminating exhaust fumes. These fumes are a source of air pollution that is contributing to global warming?????????????Isn’t Kingston claiming to be or want to be a “GREEN” city so it doesn’t make sense that they would approval such a thing—-
    I truly hope they reconsider and stay local!!!!!

  5. Thomas says:

    So If KGH doesn’t want to support locally ? – Why should we support them ? What happens if we stop going to KGH ? I think KGH and the borad member should really think long and hard before they make any final mistakes

  6. Robert Scott says:

    I am writing this note as a former patient, who enjoyed 95% of the food just the way it was. After thinking about this for a while, my opinion is the K.G.H.’s new c.e.o. must know someone in the food business, in the BIG city of Toronto? If this BRILLIANT idea passes, I know that my yearly donation will be stopped, and, I think the auxilliary people, and, anyone else who donates to the K.G.H. should funnel their money to other causes. Thank you !

  7. Valerie Genge says:

    I was a patient at KGH from Nov.16,2009 to Dec. 19, 2009. Meals brought into the hospital were of poor quality, some mushy and others such as salads limp and tastless. Having meal preparation at the hospital would improve the qualiy. If St. Mary’s of the Lake can do it then why not KGH? I was a patient at St. Mary’s from Dec. 19, 2009 to Feb. 24, 2010 and ate many meals there so I speak from experience. My health started to improve when I looked forwarded to mealtimes at St. Mary’s. If we want Kingston to be a green community I don’t see how trucking meals in will help us achieve this. A hundred kilometre radius is lost with the current plans along with quality control.

  8. Carol Wood says:

    In the last ten years I have been a patient at both KGH and St. Mary’s. The food at St. Mary’s was far superior. I can not understand why the food for KGH can not be supplied, locally.

  9. THERESA says:

    How unfair of KGH. They don’t mind the tax payers of kingston supporting them but they don’t want to give the support back to the people. Maybe if we alll said that we would not give any more donations or volunteer anymore of our time they might reconsider. This community has supported KGH for years. They don’t mind accepting our money so now is the time for them to give some back. The board of KGH should stop and think that without our money it could be their jobs gone next.

  10. Angela says:

    Keep services local. Keep local jobs. Teach managers how to run a kitchen and use local produce and local people on the inside and out. This will help to stimulate the local economy.

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