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Vegan ‘Left Hungry’ After Finding Out Mater Dei Doesn’t Cater For Him Or People With Food Intolerances

A Maltese man currently recovering in Mater Dei Hospital has spoken out after being left “hungry for the past three days” due to him being not offered any vegan options.

“I kind of need your help,” Brandon Galea said in a Vegan Facebook group.

“I’ve been in hospital for the past three days, with non-COVID issues, the doctors keep telling me that I need to eat and I keep telling everyone that I’m vegan – and every time I have to explain what veganism is, and all I get are smirky looks,” he continued.

Speaking to Lovin Malta, Galea explained how he’s only eaten one meal over the last three days, a meal he described as “foul”.

“Yesterday I was given a soup that tasted more like water than water itself, some reheated rice with frozen vegetables and tomato which was too sweet,” he said.

Galea called out what he saw as a lack of catering for both vegans as well as people with food intolerances.

“It’s disgraceful that I am in a government hospital and no one even bothers to look into veganism,” he said. “I don’t blame the workers, but I blame the healthcare system and our educational system.”

His post opened up a floodgate of people who also complained about not being catered for when recovering in Mater Dei.

“I also cannot eat gluten and after giving birth everyone was offered toast with butter and I got nothing. So they don’t even cater properly for people with allergies. Shameful really,” said one woman.
“A couple of years back I was in hospital, told them I’m vegan, I got a bowl of disgusting pea soup for the meal,” said another.

Many lamented the fact that they had to rely on their family and friends to bring them good food in lieu of proper nutrition from the hospital.

“My breakfast was two slices of white bread and one slice of processed cheese,” said one person. “The system relies on family members to bring food in for patients, thought we were better than this. A tender should require meals to cater for the requirements of patients, contractor making their money easily ripping off the patient and wider system,” said one person.

They also praised the staff and healthcare professionals “sterling work” during these challenging pandemic times.

Speaking to Lovin Malta, an informed healthcare source said that Mater Dei offers a full vegan menu.

“It is not the case that Mater Dei does not supply vegan options – there is a vegan option every day, featuring a starter, main and dessert, and includes things like ginger onion soup and other soups, caponata pizza and vegan burgers. It is worth noting that no official request for vegan food was put forward by staff for any patients,” they said. “The man in question has since been attended to.”

After Galea’s post, he told Lovin Malta that he was given this bread roll.

Since his post, several individuals have reached out to Galea to offer him food; while thankful to them, Galea said he was “just hungry and fed up with all these injustices”.

What do you make of this situation?

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