TORONTO, July 31, 2007 – The McGuinty government’s decision to increase the daily raw food allowance in long-term care homes to $7 per resident will ensure that Ontario residents are served meals that meet their nutritional and health requirements says the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO.) Over the past few months, registered nurses and other groups have been lobbying the government for this funding increase.
Mississauga RNs Angela Shaw and Julie Curitti believed so strongly in the need for more nutritious food for residents in long-term care that they devoted countless hours of their own time to executing a public awareness campaign. The campaign resulted in over 19,000 Ontarians signing a petition to have the daily food allowance raised. This petition, which was endorsed unanimously by voting delegates at RNAO’s annual general meeting in April, was presented to the legislative assembly by Mississauga East MPP Peter Fonseca on May 16.
“RNAO would like to recognize RNs Angela and Julie for their tremendous commitment to this cause and the important role they played in influencing the government’s decision. Most long-term care residents aren’t in a position to lobby the government, so Angela and Julie did it for them. They were determined not to rest until the daily allowance was raised to $7,” says RNAO President Mary Ferguson-Paré.
The Dieticians of Canada deserve special mention for recognizing that it was impossible to meet the nutritional needs of residents living in long-term care for less than $7 a day, says Ferguson-Paré. They sounded the alarm about insufficient food funding in a report entitled ‘Raw Food Cost In Ontario Long Term Care Homes – Funding Review and Priority Recommendations, which was produced in November 2006.
“Long-term care facilities, their staff and the families of residents are celebrating this decision. But the real winners are the residents themselves. They will enjoy tastier, more diverse and more nutritious meals that meet ethnic, cultural and religious requirements and are designed for optimum health and quality of life. The Ontario government has sent a strong message that they listened and that residents are important members of our society who deserve high-quality care,” says RNAO Executive Director Doris Grinspun.
The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) is the professional association for registered nurses in Ontario. Since 1925, RNAO has lobbied for healthy public policy, promoted excellence in nursing practice, increased nurses’ contribution to shaping the health-care system, and influenced decisions that affect nurses and the public they serve.-30-