TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Aug. 28, 2017) - Fresh, local, nutritious food is what's best for convalescing patients. But St. Joseph's Health Centre intends to close its in-house kitchens and buy plated, microwavable "TV dinner"-style food from a factory operation somewhere outside of Toronto.

"It's the wrong decision," says Anne Piper, a Registered Practical Nurse at St. Joseph's Health Centre. "If the hospital plans to change our patient food and guest cafeteria services, they should do it right, go the other way and cook Ontario-grown meats and vegetables right in our own hospital kitchen from scratch. Any medical professional will tell you that sick people need good, healthy food to get better."

Piper is among dozens of single-minded workers at the hospital represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 1144, who are taking their campaign to bring locally grown and in-house cooked patient food to St. Joseph's.

They're holding a media conference on Wednesday, August 30, 2017 at 10:30 a.m., garden-side Sunnyside Avenue and Parkdale Road, to announce the details of the campaign.

"Here in Parkdale, we have a strong local food movement, affluence co-existing with a large vulnerable poorer patient population," says Dave Streit, president of CUPE 1144. "Because of this, we think the hospital has a very different leadership to play. Recognizing that some of our patients come to us under-housed and some malnourished, is a must for the hospital. We need a fresh approach, not factory food for convalescing patients. We think our community will support a local patient food solution."

WHAT: Announcement of campaign to bring local food into hospital cafeteria cooking
WHEN: Wednesday, August 30, 10:30 a.m.
WHERE: Sunnyside Avenue and Parkdale Road, garden-side
WHO: CUPE 1144 President Dave Streit,
Ontario Council of Hospital Unions First Vice-President Louis Rodrigues
WHY: Cooking hospital meals in-house with locally grown food will help patients and the community

Contact Information:

David Streit
President CUPE 1144

Louis Rodrigues
OCHU First Vice-President

Matthew Stella
CUPE Communications