Open Letter to Linda Larson, MLA, Boundary-Similkameen
I appreciate your response on July 31 to my letter of May 31.
In your letter you state that the produce used to make the meals at Orchard Haven in Keremeos, comes from the area where it’s prepared and therefore it’s “local”. I certainly can’t agree with your definition of “local”. By “local” in this valley we are talking about 4 or 5 kilometres from the source of the food grown to its final destination.
Trucking the meals in enormous containers from Vernon to Keremeos when we produce in this area almost everything needed to make good nutritious meals is an abdication of reason in order to reach some nebulous bottom line. That leaves a mighty big footprint, and besides, aren’t our highways dangerous enough already?
Certainly the most immediate of my grievances is our seniors. As you are the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health for Seniors, I can’t imagine you would be in agreement with a policy such as this. The company that supplies Keremeos is also servicing all the Okanagan from north to south, the Boundary area, and the Kootenays. By the time this food reaches its destination it can’t have a lot of nutrition left in it.
I believe that the concentration of food services is a big mistake (as in most services). It tends to stifle small communities and limit their opportunities, and the result in this area is that we are serving our seniors meals that cannot be very nutritious, having been prepared in huge amounts in a facility 90 miles away, trucked here, and then reheated.
The facility in Keremeos has an excellent kitchen that was made to accommodate the preparation of meals for the residents. There are people here who have the skills to prepare those meals and we certainly have the produce that is grown right here using the best farming methods known.
This is a bad policy and I certainly hope you will encourage our provincial government to review it and take notice of how it’s affecting our communities and our seniors in a negative way.
Donna Stocker, Cawston, B.C.