Hospital Food

Hospital Food of the Past

While there is a claim that hospital food is being revolutionized[i] by sourcing and preparing more local, nutritious food, a friend who recently spent some time in a BC hospital described the food as “downright awful.” We are reminded especially in the Okanagan that the soil is productive and at this time of year the bounty is being harvested. This was something that the Management Committee of Vernon Jubilee Hospital recognized years ago. They made local appeals for food donations as a way of fulfilling the food needs of the Hospital.


Thuiller[ii] in her book on the history of Vernon Jubilee Hospital wrote that in November 1930 the hospital directors appealed for aid stating that “those who cannot give in cash are asked to remember that the Hospital can make use of food and will thankfully receive them” (p. 128).


I haven’t seen any such appeals currently but in October 1927, the following advertisement ran in the Vernon News:


This is an impressive quantity of food and one can only assume that they had access to cold storage if these supplies were to see them through the winter. And, there is no report on how much food was donated as a result of this advertisement. But food was a commodity equally valued with money as a donation and the Hospital supported “Donation Days” each fall when harvest was underway. While money helped, food was a valued contribution. In 1933, the Empress Theatre accepted eggs instead of money for admission and gathered 2,804 eggs for the Hospital.


In small communities I know that some senior residences will accept food donations and maybe hospitals do as well. It’s autumn and if you have excess produce, what do you do with it? Are there schools, hospitals or other institutions or community services where you donate your excess produce?




[ii] Thuillier, Daphne (1997). A century of caring. Vernon: Vernon Jubilee Hospital.

One Response to Hospital Food

  1. Debra Hellbach September 18, 2017 at 8:52 pm #

    Excellent post!
    Interesting that just one life time ago “food was a commodity equally valued with money as a donation”. Food has lost its value in our society … Money is much more important, and saving money by skimping on nutritional quality to minimize costs and liabilities are the end result. Once we find a way to communicate the value of food we will be able to affect change.

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