Food and friendship delivered to Changsha's seniors

China Daily | Updated: 2023-01-31 09:11
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Yuan Ke delivers food for free to elderly people who are living alone. [Photo/Xinhua]

CHANGSHA — When rush hour comes, food deliveryman Yuan Ke turns off the software designed to alert him to orders.

Instead of picking up paid work, he chooses to head to a community canteen for the elderly. Once there, he picks up food and delivers it for free to three elderly people who are living alone.

The 22-year-old has been voluntarily delivering food to the trio in the Yunan Street community in Tianxin district of Changsha, capital of Hunan province, for the past three months.

"I know they will be waiting for me to deliver food," Yuan said.

Three months ago, the delivery center encouraged employees to voluntarily take food to the elderly who are not able to go to the canteen. Yuan immediately agreed to participate.

He provides the seniors not only food, but more importantly, company.

"I remember the first time I delivered food to Grandpa Hu. He was just sitting there. I could feel his loneliness," Yuan said. "So I decided to chat with them for a while when I bring them food."

Hu said he is grateful for Yuan's deliveries and visits. "Every time Yuan comes and tells me that my lunch is here, I ask him to put it on the table. These are the first words that I say every day," 85-year-old Hu Guangyao said.

"I didn't have anyone to talk to, and felt irritable and lonely. Now, with Yuan chatting with me every day, I feel much better."

Born in a village in Hunan's Shaoyang city, Yuan was raised by his grandmother. He said the three seniors he visits, the oldest of whom is 91-year-old Shen Lianying, remind him of her.

"Grandma Shen would often give me apples and remind me to ride slowly and take good care of myself. It always made me feel loved," Yuan said.

Recently, he began bringing garbage bags with him to help clean up the waste after the trio finish eating. Yuan has left them his mobile phone number in case they need help or have an emergency.

"It's not so safe for old people to live alone. If they fall, no one will know. Now that I'm delivering them food, I can also help take care of them as much as I can," he said.


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