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Source: New Zealand Unions Activists and Left Political Parties

Headline: E tū urges voters to support in-house hospital meals

E tū is urging voters to cast their vote for DHB board candidates who support freshly cooked, locally sourced hospital meals.

The government wants the country’s 20 DHBs to sign on with food-provider Compass, in a bid to save between $155 and $190 million over the next 15 years.

However, so far only 6 have signed up to the new food services contract, which means the savings won’t be made.

E tū Industry Coordinator, Jill Ovens says DHBs are under huge pressure to sign on, so the government can meet the savings target.

But she says the new cook-chill meals for patients and frozen Meals on Wheels have been rejected by patients and the public in DHBs where they have been introduced.

That includes Southland and Otago, as well as Gisborne and Pukekohe where poor quality has seen a halving of the numbers taking Compass-provided frozen Meals on Wheels.

“Next month, people are going to be voting for their DHB Boards”, says Jill.

“They should make sure they vote for very strong candidates who sign up for locally-sourced, fresh-cooked food.

“It’s the only way to protect the quality of their hospital meals as well as the local Meals on Wheels service.”