Study Buddy (Explorer): ImpactHK’s The Kind Kitchen serves 2,200 free meals a week to those in Hong Kong who need help

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  • Check your reading comprehension using the questions below or in the linked Kahoot! game
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The Kind Kitchen is located in Tai Kok Tsui in Kowloon. Photo: ImpactHK

Content provided by the British Council

Read the following text and answer questions 1-9 below:

[1] It is 9am on a humid Monday morning, and The Kind Kitchen’s roller shutter, covered in colourful street art, slowly winds its way up. One of the first through the door is Eppie Yip Yuen-man. She is excited to get to work in the kitchen. It is the latest initiative by ImpactHK, an NGO that helps the city’s homeless and those who do not have enough food.

[2] The kitchen is in Tai Kok Tsui – where ImpactHK also operates a community centre – in Kowloon. It serves 2,200 free meals every week, all year round. It also creates jobs and empowers those who have experienced homelessness.

[3] Yip is a mother of two who shares a flat with three other women in a shelter. Working in the kitchen, which opened in April, allows her to save money to live independently in the future. “I get on-the-job training and make a salary,” said Yip, 58, who wears a T-shirt bearing the NGO’s motto, #kindnessmatters. “One day, I want to rent a flat for myself.”

[4] Cindy Tse, 48, is one of four formerly homeless people working in the kitchen, carrying out duties, such as cleaning and preparing food. A few years ago, she faced many personal issues and health problems – at one stage, she struggled to walk and breathe and had high blood pressure. This led to her living on the streets for six months.

[5] Tse’s dream is to sell her home-made chilli sauce. Her secret, she said, was using high-quality chillies from Thailand: “I prepare each ingredient – such as the fried garlic – individually. It makes a difference.”

[6] Jeff Rotmeyer, founder of ImpactHK, surveys the new kitchen, which gleams with state-of-the-art cooking equipment. Trays loaded with rice for the lunch session are stacked on benches. “I’ve been dreaming of opening something like this for a long time,” said Rotmeyer. “It’s such a natural fit for our organisation and community and offers a lot of great training opportunities and graduation paths.”

[7] “Food alone won’t get people off the streets, but we hope our meals can help build trust so we can gradually develop friendships,” he said. “It’s incredible to see the pride the staff take in this place. It’s just beautiful to watch.”

[8] He said the kitchen catered to those staying in ImpactHK’s hostel as well as those in the charity’s co-living flats. “We have about 80 people in our hostels, so all of those individuals will be served twice a day, for lunch and dinner,” he explained. The kitchen also helps anyone in need of food support, such as street cleaners, the elderly, refugees and members of ethnic minorities.

[9] Rotmeyer said the ongoing pandemic had created a crisis among the city’s less fortunate, and rising unemployment made it worse. The kitchen, he added, would not have been possible without the support from its sponsors, including the FAB Foundation, Rosewood Hong Kong and Food Angel, which supplies surplus food collected from various sectors of the food industry.

Source: South China Morning Post, May 6

Questions

Play a Kahoot! game about this story as a class or with your friends by clicking on the link here.

Or play on your own below to test your understanding:

1. What does Eppie Yip do at The Kind Kitchen according to paragraph 1?
A. She serves customers.
B. She is a cashier.
C. She manages the staff.
D. information not given

2. Find a word in paragraph 2 that means “to make someone stronger and more confident”.

3. Read paragraphs 3 and 4, and decide if the following statements are True, False or Not Given. (4 marks)
(i) Yip gets paid for her work at The Kind Kitchen.
(ii) Yip is saving money to buy a flat in the future.
(iii) Tse and Yip live in the same shelter.
(iv) Tse prefers preparing food to cleaning dishes.

4. Why did Tse end up living on the streets?

5. According to Tse, what two factors make her chilli sauce stand out? (2 marks)

6. Which word can replace “state-of-the-art” in paragraph 6?
A. traditional
B. offbeat
C. modern
D. inventive

7. List the groups of people mentioned in the article that benefit from The Kind Kitchen. (6 marks)

8. How many meals do residents at ImpactHK’s hostel get every day?

9. How does Food Angel contribute to The Kind Kitchen according to paragraph 9?

Eppie Yip is saving money in hopes of renting her own flat one day. Photo: Xiaomei Chen

Answers

1. D

2. empowers

3. (i) T; (ii) F; (iii) NG; (iv) NG

4. It was because she faced many personal issues and health problems a few years ago.

5. She uses high-quality chillies from Thailand and prepares each ingredient individually.

6. C

7. individuals staying in ImpactHK’s hostel, those staying in the charity’s co-living flats, street cleaners, the elderly, members of ethnic minorities, refugees

8. two meals

9. It supplies surplus food collected from various sectors of the food industry.

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