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Meet Ming Gor, the big-hearted restaurant owner in Sham Shui Po who is known for offering free meal boxes to the underprivileged people.
"Ming Gor" (Chan Cheuk Ming) has been selling roasted meats in Pei Ho Street in Sham Shui Po since 1997. He is well-known for providing low-priced boxed meals to the grassroots. In 2001, operating costs soared due to the implementation of the statutory minimum wage, causing difficulties in his business, and even the crisis of closing down. In the hardest times, Ming Gor and his partner could only pay HKD$5000 salaries every month.
"Crisis Creates Opportunities"
Fortunately, a TV programme about "neighbourhood" reported Ming Gor's roasted meat restaurant. Through the programme, many citizens went to support him after knowing Ming Gor's heart of serving the grassroots. It gave his business a favourable turnaround.
After the crisis, Ming Gor and his partner found that the positivity from the public could help them conquer the obstacles, making the restaurant able to continue. Ming Gor even claimed that he would continue to provide low-priced meals to the grassroots and would not raise the price as long as they can pay the rent and salaries.
"A Little Spark"
One of the hosts of that TV programme, Sammo Hung Kam Po visited Ming Gor again after the show had been broadcasted for a month. He visited to know if the TV programme helped with Ming Gor's restaurant. He also gave HKD$10000 to Ming Gor personally, asking Ming Gor to help the grassroots for him. From that moment, Ming Gor decided to use part of his restaurant’s profits as the funding of distributing free boxed meals. The campaign of distributing free meals has begun since then.
Sham Shui Po has always been one of the lowest income districts in Hong Kong, and homelessness is also a serious and pronounced problem there. Unwilling to see the neighbours suffering, Ming Gor gave out 60 free boxed meals every week since the beginning of 2012. The target beneficiaries were mostly the homeless in Sham Shui Po at that time. Within a year and a half, the number of free boxed meals distributed increased to 200.
"Pass it on”
Since there is an increase in the number of volunteers distributing free boxed meals, Ming Gor started to approach the grassroots elderly and single-living elderly in the neighbourhood, understanding their needs and conditions. There is a volunteer team sending free meals to the elderly’s homes directly every week. During the delivery, the team also comprehend the elderly’s lives and situations so as to provide suitable help and support.
Until now, 1100 free boxed meals are distributed every week. The beneficiaries include the homeless in Sham Shui Po and Yau Ma Tei, the grassroots elderly and single-living elderly in five housing estates in Sham Shui Po district. The team also cooperates with different social welfare organizations, such as Social Welfare Department, International Social Service, and The Society of Rehabilitation and Crime Prevention, to support people who are in urgent need or are waiting for the approval of CSSA.
“One Heart, One Way"
"Pei Ho Counterparts" was established by Ming Gor in 2014. It represents a roasted meat restaurant, a cha chaan teng(a Hong Kong-style diner), a volunteer team, and the faith of serving the neighbourhood.
Ming Gor’s teams of volunteers come from different backgrounds. There are around 40 members giving help in daily boxed meals distribution. Ming Gor also welcomes the participation of organizations and constituencies, letting them know more about the situations of Sham Shui Po and the boxed meal distributing campaigns. No matter the local, the mainland, foreign schools, the social welfare sector or companies, they are all so supportive that there are approximately more than fifty thousand people joining the voluntary campaigns. This just represents the “Counterparts”, as well as the message that even with different backgrounds, religions, races, skin colours or political ideals, companion still exists between volunteers and beneficiaries.
In the future, Ming Gor hopes to be the backup in the poorest district in Hong Kong, disseminating the faith of “one for all, all for one”. He wishes that Hong Kong teenagers would be motivated to serve our city since childhood, continuing the inherent “Spirit of Lion Rock" and “neighbourhood love” with mutual help and protection.
未來發展期望能在香港最貧窮的區內繼續補鑊，繼續發放「我為人人，人人為我！」這個精神。並帶動年輕人從小服務我們的香港， 延續固有的「獅子山精神」及 守望相助的「街坊情」。
All volunteer hours must be completed from 25 June 2017 to 25 November 2017.
Lunch will be held at 12:15pm on 5 December 2017. It will be conducted in Cantonese.
The cost will be HK$150 per person to cover the running cost of the program.
Photo Credit: Shamshuipost
Lunch with Ming Gor (5 Dec)
Lunch will be held at 12:15pm on 5 Dec. It will be conducted in Cantonese.