In July 2022, new regulations were adopted in Ontario under the Fixing Long-Term Care Act, 2021 that provide long-term care homes with a 15% funding increase to nutritional support. The regulations require homes to deliver processes designed to increase quality of life and care for residents, like:
- Menu planning flexibility that better reflects the needs of the residents such as speciality diets and menu substitutions that have consistent nutritional value;
- Menus that are approved by a registered dietitian in addition to residents’ preferences;
- Menus that provide a variety of foods every day, including fresh produce and local foods in season;
- More flexibility for each home to increase menu choices for residents and reduce food waste; and
- Meals and snacks at times that are chosen with support from the home’s Residents’ Council and its administrator.
The new funding and requirements create new opportunities for Thunder Bay’s long-term care homes to support the local economy through their food procurement.