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Lunch by George

Lunch by George normally serves 40-50 people per day, with an occasional 'spike' to the 60-70 range and over 100 at our Christmas meal. The program operates five days a week, opening at 9:00 a.m. with coffee and snacks and serving soup at 10:00 a.m. and a hot nutritious lunch at 11:00 a.m.. Normally the dishes are done and the kitchen cleaned up before noon, which leaves the hall available for other groups in the afternoon.

 Many of the patrons have some form of disability - mental or physical - which prevents them from working. Many of these patrons have been coming for a number of years. Lunch by George is their social centre; they know each other and care for each other. A few are elderly and in poor circumstances.

 A survey done several years ago showed that most were on disability, pension or welfare assistance, with rents consuming 30 to 50% of their incomes. Many have no cooking facilities - maybe just a hotplate - and limited opportunity to cook in a functional kitchen. Yet other patrons are only temporary: they are those who are employable but are having difficulty finding work. They use our services until their status improves or they move to another community with better employment prospects.

Over the last two or three years the numbers attending the Lunch Program have been gradually increasing - due to cutbacks in support programs for the poor and fewer employment opportunities. We are glad that we can keep the kitchen open five days a week, fifty-one weeks of the year, to help support folks in need.