"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.
「明哥」(陳灼明)，由1997年開始於深水埗北河街經營燒臘飯店，以廉價供應飯盒給基層聞名。2011年法定最低工資開始實施，經營成本因此大大提高，令經營困難，更一度面對結業壓力，明哥及其拍檔最難捱的日子僅僅可以每月支薪五千月。 "有危，就有機" 有幸當時有一個有關「街坊情」的電視節目，其中一節正是報導明哥的燒臘飯店，節目播出後令不少市民認識到明哥為基層服務的心意，紛紛到店舖支持，一時間令生意有了轉機。 明哥及其拍檔經此一役之後，有感社會大眾的正能量助他們渡過難關，令飯店得以繼續經營，明哥更誓言只要飯店夠出糧夠交租就不會加價，繼續提供廉價食物給基層。 "星星之火" 當日電視節目其中一位主持洪金寶先生於節目播出一個月後再次探訪明哥，了解節目播出後有否有助飯店的生意，同時亦私人將港幣一萬元交給明哥，拜託明哥代他幫助三餐不繼的基層。由那時候開始，明哥決定將飯店營利的一部份撥出作為派飯活動的資金，派飯活動由此而萌芽。 深水埗一直都是全港家庭入息最低的地區之一，而當中露宿者問題更加明顯。眼見一眾街坊生話艱難，明哥從二零一二年最初每星期派出六十個飯盒，當時受惠對象大多是深水埗區內的露宿者為主，及後年半內增加到二百個。 "薪火相傳" 由於參加派飯的義工開始增加，明哥開始著手到附近屋邨內了解基層長者及獨居長者的情況及需要，每星期都有義工團隊直接派飯到長者家中，派送盒飯及了解的生話狀況，提供適切的支援。 直至現在每星期派發約一千一百個飯盒，受惠人士包括深水埗及油麻地一帶的露宿者，深水埗區內五個屋邨的獨居長者或基層長者。另外亦跟社會福利署，國際社，善導會等社福機構合作，支援一些等待批核綜援或急需支援人士的膳食。 「同心同行」 "北河同行"於2014年由明哥成立，代表一間燒味飯店，一間茶餐廳，一個義工團隊，一個為街坊服務的信念。 明哥的恆常義工團隊來自不同背景為數約有四十人，支援日常派飯活動，除此之外，明哥更歡迎組織及界別參與，了解派飯活動及深水埗的狀況，一路走來，無論本地，内地，海外學校，社福界，公司機構都很積極參加，粗略估計，參加人次超過五萬, 正好代表"同行者"代表無論義工，受惠人士不分背景，宗教，種族，膚色，政治理念都能一起同行。 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 15 January 2018.
Lunch will be held at 12:15pm at Pei Ho Counterparts in Shum Shui Po on 27 January 2018. 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
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