Local food campaign says "it isn't over until we say it's over"
KINGSTON, ON, Dec. 16 /CNW/ - Kingston residents filled Kingston City
Hall last night for the first in a series of 'think local' public
meetings as part of the community campaign focused on getting Kingston
General Hospital (KGH) to develop a made-in-Kingston solution for
The groundswell of community opposition to the KGH deal with
multi-national food giant Compass Corporation should have been heeded
because the "sustainability of our community is at stake. We're here
to tell the hospital that the Kingston food fight isn't over until we
say it's over," said Dianne Dowling with local chapter of the National
Farmers Union (NFU), one of the community coalition partners which also
include: People Who Care About Kingston, Campaign to Save the Prison
Farms, Urban Gardeners of Kingston, Kingston & District Labour Council,
Sisters of Providence and CUPE 1974.
Dowling and others including audience members were irked that KGH is
purposely ignoring the fact that the local food campaign is a community
driven initiative and categorizes the Kingston food fight campaign as a
hospital union issue.
The coalition is now considering several legal options including whether
the KGH food deal meets provincial criteria for outsourcing and will
be asking Ontario's health minister Deb Matthews to stay the contract
until her ministry can review aspects of procurement process that may
have been circumvented. A follow-up public meeting is also being
planned for the new year.
Council of Canadians (COC) Chairperson, Maude Barlow, the keynote
speaker at the public meeting, reminded the capacity crowd that the
"decision to outsource these services flies in the face of all that we
know about livable futures which will be built on local, sustainable
food production and the creation of good local jobs."
Dr. Edward Leyton, a resident in family medicine at KGH since 1975 and
one of the guest speakers last night, called the KGH decision to
outsource wrong-headed and stupid.
"The hospital has a moral obligation to feed patients well. The
importance of good nutrition is already recognized in disease
prevention, but it is even more important in a compromised patient who
enters hospital most likely with a chronic disease caused by
malnutrition itself," said Leyton.
SOURCE Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (CUPE)
For further information: For further information:
Stella Yeadon CUPE Communications (416) 559-9300
For more information about the campaign, visit www.kingstonfoodfight.ca