Northern Manitoba town flocks to local hospital for the food


SLM
+1
#1
Northern Manitoba town flocks to local hospital for the food

Hospital cafeteria food doesn't exactly have a delicious reputation. But in Churchill, Manitoba, where the cost of groceries has skyrocket in recent months a four-litre jug of milk currently costs almost $12 residents flock to their local hospital for meals that won't break the bank.
Fortunately, the Churchill hospital (external - login to view)'s food doesn't taste half bad either:
"The food is really good here," a hospital receptionist told the National Post, adding that for $6.50, diners could buy a meal of baked chicken, wild rice, harvest vegetable soup and a salad.
"There is no other place like it. It is the best deal in town. And don't even get me started with the Northern Store [the local grocery store], where a five-pound bag of potatoes costs, what, eight bucks?"
The hospital is the town's dining hot spot, stealing clientele from other eateries because of its unbeatable prices and its healthy, hearty menu.
Even the owner of a local bakery can't complain:
"We've got it all here," Tony Da Silva said of his Gypsy Bakery. "But the staff at the cafeteria are very good. I can't really complain about them."
Grocery prices are higher in Churchill than in southern Manitoba towns primarily because of transportation cost, CBC News reports. Because the town is accessible by rail, it doesn't qualify for food-transportation subsidies either.
The hospital's cafeteria, however, is subsidized by the government, making its meals the best and most affordable ones in town.


Northern Manitoba town flocks to local hospital (external - login to view)
 
captain morgan
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#2
I wonder how long this deal will last... This is gvt after all
 
SLM
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#3
Quote: Originally Posted by captain morganView Post

I wonder how long this deal will last... This is gvt after all

Well it seems kind of ridiculous that the so many in the town need to go to the hospital cafeteria to get an affordable meal. I think they need to review the food transportation subsidy because something is clearly off in this situation.
 
JamesBondo
-1
#4
It sounds like someone is pocketing the food transportation subsidy, then carrying the cost to the consumer anyway. This should be investigated and monitored.
 
earth_as_one
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#5
When I lived in Churchill, I belonged to a cooperative. A group of about 50-100 or so families would place an order with a food distributor in Thompson and rent space on the train by the boxcar. Usually 1 boxcar per month) However, we could only get non-perishable goods. Fresh fruit, vegetables and meat had to be bought at one of the two grocery stores... at a premium. Since I worked for the government and Churchill is considered an isolated post, I got a government subsidies and guaranteed overtime which offset the additional costs. However the local people didn't get these benefits. they did get a Northern Allowance and tax breaks... but poorer people had to cut costs to get by. Many locals hunt all year round.

The reduced meal costs at the Churchill Civic complex (hospital, rink, pool, municipal and government offices) are supposed to help people who have been medevac'd south from communities like Rankin Inlet and Baker Lake. But people who worked at the complex usually ate lunch there.

I'd hate to see this cafeteria food subsidy program shut down because local people are taking advantage of the low cost food. The problem is the price of food in the stores are too high.
Last edited by earth_as_one; Nov 25th, 2012 at 09:47 AM..
 
Ron in Regina
+1
#6
The big question is why is the food that much more affordable at the hospital cafeteria
than anywhere else? They'd be dealing with the same shipping expenses, distances,
etc...

I've been in "Northern Stores" when they're the only game in town (I'm thinking of Pelican
Narrows in Saskatchewan) and was blown away by the prices. Twenty years ago, in
the summer, they were selling banana's for a buck a banana ($1 each, not for a bunch).

With that in mind, when we had to run up through Pelican Narrows & Sandy Bay and
some of the other remote communities up along the Hanson Road in June & July, we'd
line an old TV box in plastic, and fill that with watermelons & bags of ice....and trade
those for whatever on the side (wild rice, perch fillets, futures on woodland caribou &
moose in the fall, etc...& sometimes even just good will, never cash) while doing what
we where doing up there.
 
earth_as_one
#7
When I was in Resolute Bay, the cafeteria was free. (I lived at the airport with about 200 other people). The community was about 5 km away and food was very expensive.

I felt bad for the children, who seldom got fresh fruit. So every time I ate at the cafeteria, I'd take a couple of fruit back to my room and put them in my duffel bag. On my day off, I'd go into town and give the 6 days worth of fruit to children in the community. The community immediately adopted me. I just wanted to make friends, but I was surprised by how friendly the locals were to me. They took me snowmobiling, invited me to their parties, introduced me to the local artists where I bought local crafts directly from the artists at a substantial discount...

But living in Churchill is quite different than living in Resolute. As a Federal Government employee we lived in a unit in a quadplex, not at the airport and we didn't get free food.
 
SLM
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#8
Quote: Originally Posted by JamesBondoView Post

It sounds like someone is pocketing the food transportation subsidy, then carrying the cost to the consumer anyway. This should be investigated and monitored.


There is no food transportation subsidy because it is accessible by rail.

Quote: Originally Posted by earth_as_oneView Post


I'd hate to see this cafeteria food subsidy program shut down because local people are taking advantage of the low cost food. The problem is the price of food in the stores are too high.

That's why I'd say they need to review the policy for food transportation subsidies. If that many of the townspeople are being driven to acquiring their meals at the hospital cafeteria then somethings really wrong. I'm sure their first choice would be to eat at home. There has to be some middle ground here.

Quote: Originally Posted by Ron in ReginaView Post

The big question is why is the food that much more affordable at the hospital cafeteria
than anywhere else? They'd be dealing with the same shipping expenses, distances,
etc...

The hospital's food is subsidized, probably under a different program (I'm guessing) than the regular food transportation subsidy.
 
captain morgan
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by SLMView Post

Well it seems kind of ridiculous that the so many in the town need to go to the hospital cafeteria to get an affordable meal. I think they need to review the food transportation subsidy because something is clearly off in this situation.

The extraordinarily high cost of food stuffs in Northern and remote regions is nothing new. It has been an issue ever since there has been an effort to populate and commercialize the region. Although the gvt kicks some money into the kitty, I think that it is the direct responsibility of the private companies that seek to operate in these areas... This would probably be square on the radar for the bigger corps, but the little mom & pop companies in the region, I doubt that they would be as strongly motivated to hit the same standards.

Quote: Originally Posted by earth_as_oneView Post

I'd hate to see this food subsidy program shut down because local people are taking advantage of the low cost food. The problem is the price of food in the stores are too high.


The potential exists, especially if an assessment is made that determines that the patient's are to be the priority
 
SLM
#10
Quote: Originally Posted by captain morganView Post

The extraordinarily high cost of food stuffs in Northern and remote regions is nothing new. It has been an issue ever since there has been an effort to populate and commercialize the region. Although the gvt kicks some money into the kitty, I think that it is the direct responsibility of the private companies that seek to operate in these areas... This would probably be square on the radar for the bigger corps, but the little mom & pop companies in the region, I doubt that they would be as strongly motivated to hit the same standards.

I know it's nothing new but they speak of the costs having skyrocketed in the past few months alone. So while I'm sure it's always a bit pricier in Churchill than in southern Manitoba, that suggests to me something extraordinary is happening. So whatever policies have been in place, I think perhaps need to be rescrutinized. If that much of the town is headed to the hospital cafeteria for meals, that should be a really clear indication that something is off somewhere.

The important thing is to get (somewhat) affordable food to these people, in the short term that may mean the government steps in. Ideally temporarily. Long term planning needs to be put in place to right this ship though.
 
petros
+2
#11  Top Rated Post
I gotta call BS. Wal*Mart ships groceries by the pallet by air and it's still far far cheaper than local.

If the Hospital can have Sysco foods shipped Joe average can have food shipped.

it's how work camps do it economically.
 
Ron in Regina
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by SLMView Post

I know it's nothing new but they speak of the costs having skyrocketed in the past few months alone. So while I'm sure it's always a bit pricier in Churchill than in southern Manitoba, that suggests to me something extraordinary is happening. So whatever policies have been in place, I think perhaps need to be rescrutinized. If that much of the town is headed to the hospital cafeteria for meals, that should be a really clear indication that something is off somewhere.

The important thing is to get (somewhat) affordable food to these people, in the short term that may mean the government steps in. Ideally temporarily. Long term planning needs to be put in place to right this ship though.



Quote: Originally Posted by Ron in ReginaView Post

I've been in "Northern Stores" when they're the only game in town (I'm thinking of Pelican

Quote: Originally Posted by Ron in ReginaView Post

Narrows in Saskatchewan) and was blown away by the prices. Twenty years ago, in
the summer, they were selling banana's for a buck a banana ($1 each, not for a bunch)....




Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

I gotta call BS. Wal*Mart ships groceries by the pallet by air and it's still far far cheaper than local.

Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post


If the Hospital can have Sysco foods shipped Joe average can have food shipped.

it's how work camps do it economically.



Something stinks alright. But it's the status quo and has been for so long that's it's
the norm that people accept it as the choice is a long drive in many cases. Organized
folk could form their own co-ops but Govt stepping in makes me think it'll just lead to
a worse situation somehow if that's even possible.
 
petros
+1
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by Ron in ReginaView Post

[/SIZE]






Something stinks alright. But it's the status quo and has been for so long that's it's
the norm that people accept it as the choice is a long drive in many cases. Organized
folk could form their own co-ops but Govt stepping in makes me think it'll just lead to
a worse situation somehow if that's even possible.

Everybody from Pelican Narrows goes to the Flon to shop at CO-OP or Extra Foods after stopping at the beer store. It's not THAT much more in Flin Flon.



Like I said...I gotta call BS.

Online Groceries. Get Groceries Online for Less - Walmart.com (external - login to view)
 
Nuggler
#14
Interesting thread: Glad I don't live up there in spite of the super fishing/hunting.
 
petros
#15
You can ANYTHING shipped to Churchill by rail.
 
Ron in Regina
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

Everybody from Pelican Narrows goes to the Flon to shop at CO-OP or Extra Foods after stopping at the beer store. It's not THAT much more in Flin Flon.



Like I said...I gotta call BS.

Online Groceries. Get Groceries Online for Less - Walmart.com (external - login to view)

My experience up there was in the early 90's and there wasn't on line shopping (or interwebs)
up there as a common thing at that point in time I'd figure. Good to know there are alternatives
for many if they choose to seek them out.
 
petros
#17
Quote: Originally Posted by Ron in ReginaView Post

My experience up there was in the early 90's and there wasn't on line shopping (or interwebs)
up there as a common thing at that point in time I'd figure. Good to know there are alternatives
for many if they choose to seek them out.

Wal*Mart stepped in when HBC failed and bailed out of the north. There are air freight guys out of S'toon who strictly haul for Wal*Mart. I've done it amnd saved big moolah. Sysco ships like that too.
 
SLM
#18
Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

Wal*Mart stepped in when HBC failed and bailed out of the north. There are air freight guys out of S'toon who strictly haul for Wal*Mart. I've done it amnd saved big moolah. Sysco ships like that too.

If that's the case, and I'm certainly not arguing that it isn't, why the hell is it not being done? Seriously is there some kind of obstruction to it?

I can't imagine so many people would simply allow things to skyrocket to the point that they have (assuming they have I don't know what the regular prices are like in Churchill but I'm assuming this trend of eating at the hospital cafeteria is new) but I can't see this happening if they have options. The grocery store next door to me get the majority of my business however if they raised prices 300% I'd be looking at other food buying options.

This situation isn't making a lot of sense.
 
petros
#19
Quote: Originally Posted by SLMView Post

If that's the case, and I'm certainly not arguing that it isn't, why the hell is it not being done? Seriously is there some kind of obstruction to it?

I eat at the General Hosp in Regina with the Mrs for lunch quite often. The use Sysco foods which are actually really damn good and the menu options are almost limitless. You'd be surprised how many restaurants use Sysco for their entire menus.

Another reason for not having shipped from Wal*Mart is you need a credit card.

A third reason...people are simply really ****ing lazy.

4th...How many people know how to cook?
 
Machjo
#20
Could it be that the taxpayer is footing some of the bill at that cafeteria?
 
SLM
+1
#21
Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

I eat at the General Hosp in Regina with the Mrs for lunch quite often. The use Sysco foods which are actually really damn good and the menu options are almost limitless. You'd be surprised how many restaurants use Sysco for their entire menus.

Another reason for not having shipped from Wal*Mart is you need a credit card.

A third reason...people are simply really ****ing lazy.

4th...How many people know how to cook?

Ok bear with me here. I'm operating under the assumption that as the article states the number of people going to the hospital cafeteria to eat is out of the ordinary and it's primarily because food costs are inordinately high, $12.00 for a bag of potatoes, much higher than normal. So that would suggest to me that it's a community problem and not simply an individual problem. So wouldn't that make the argument for a community solution then? A co-operative of some kind would have the buying power that some individuals wouldn't have on their own. You would just need a drive to kick it off. I still think some kind of government intervention might be warranted, not necessarily federal we could easily be talking municipal here. At least to get the ball rolling. I'd hate the idea of having to get up and showered and dressed just to trudge to the hospital for my morning coffee.

Woe to the polar bears that would cross me on my way too.
 
bill barilko
#22
Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

I eat at the General Hosp in Regina with the Mrs for lunch quite often. The use Sysco foods which are actually really damn good and the menu options are almost limitless. You'd be surprised how many restaurants use Sysco for their entire menus.

In fact Sysco is the worst crap imaginable-basically junk meant to be reheated in the microwave which is how many people live eating junk food- that's why they put up nonsensical posts praising the slop.

If I see a Sysco truck behind a restaurant I know it's a place to avoid-ditto seeing Snowcap behind a bakery.

Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

Another reason for not having shipped from Wal*Mart is you need a credit card.

And who in this country doesn't have a Credit Card FFS-they give them away hand over fist where I live.

Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

A third reason...people are simply really ****ing lazy.

That much is true.

Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

4th...How many people know how to cook?

I certainly do, everyone in my building does as do most in my hood-many don't cook every night no real need to given the cornucopia we live in.
 
JamesBondo
#23
Wouldn't it be fair to say that even an affordable cafeteria should be more expensive than groceries?
 
JLM
#24
I know when my Dad was on his death bed (in Victoria) we ate quite a few meals in the hosp. cafeteria. It was reasonably good grub and priced at about half of what we'd pay in a restaurant.
 
bill barilko
#25
How gawdawful must food in Thompson be if people flock to a hospital cafeteria to eat?

Poor hillbilly basturds.
 
petros
#26
Quote: Originally Posted by SLMView Post

Ok bear with me here. I'm operating under the assumption that as the article states the number of people going to the hospital cafeteria to eat is out of the ordinary and it's primarily because food costs are inordinately high, $12.00 for a bag of potatoes, much higher than normal. So that would suggest to me that it's a community problem and not simply an individual problem. So wouldn't that make the argument for a community solution then? A co-operative of some kind would have the buying power that some individuals wouldn't have on their own. You would just need a drive to kick it off. I still think some kind of government intervention might be warranted, not necessarily federal we could easily be talking municipal here. At least to get the ball rolling. I'd hate the idea of having to get up and showered and dressed just to trudge to the hospital for my morning coffee.

Woe to the polar bears that would cross me on my way too.

The restaurants up there suck raw moose ****.

Quote: Originally Posted by bill barilkoView Post

How gawdawful must food in Thompson be if people flock to a hospital cafeteria to eat?

Poor hillbilly basturds.

Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

A third reason...people are simply really ****ing lazy.

4th...How many people know how to cook?

Once again Billy.

 
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