A lunch and drop-in program was first opened in downtown Kingston at St. George's Hall in 1985 for the summer months to replace the program at St. Vincent de Paul which closed during that time. The following year, the program was run again by volunteers from St. George's Cathedral, relying on financial support from the church and the community, as well as from donations of food. This time, however, the program continued beyond the summer. In 1988 a budget for operations was drawn up and the Ministry of Community and Social Services agreed to provide partial funding, including the cost of hiring a co-ordinator. With support from the provincial government, the Lunch Program was able to reimburse the cathedral for costs associated with the program (utilities, maintenance, etc.)
OSGK operates independently of St. George's Cathedral. It continues to pay operating expenses in St. George's Hall and to receive support from many parishioners and other Kingstonians.
For over 20 years, Lunch By George served over 10,000 meals annually from perhaps the smallest kitchen of its kind in the region. In 2009, our volunteers moved into an expanded and updated kitchen in St. George's Hall, thanks to a grant from Ontario's Trillium Foundation and many local supporters.