A community worker serves the elderly at a canteen for the elderly in Gulou District, Fuzhou City, East China’s Fujian Province, June 24, 2022. (Xinhua/Jiang Kehong)
CHANGSHA, Dec. 25 (Xinhua) — During rush hour, food delivery man Yuan Ke turns off software designed to alert him to orders. Instead of grabbing a paying delivery job, he chose to head to a community-based diner for seniors. Once there, he picks up food and delivers it free of charge to three elderly people living alone.
For the past three months, Yuan, 22, has volunteered to deliver food to three seniors in the Yunan Street community in Tianxin District, Changsha City, the capital of central China’s Hunan province. “I know they are waiting for me to deliver the food,” Yuan said.
Three months ago, the delivery station encouraged delivery workers to voluntarily pick up food for the elderly who couldn’t make it to the cafeteria.
He offers more than just food, but most of all, companionship. “He remembers the first time he delivered food to Grandpa Fu. He was just sitting there. I could feel the loneliness in him,” Yuan said. “So he decided to chat with these seniors for a bit when he brought the food.”
85-year-old Hu Guangyao said, “Every time Yuan comes and tells me that my lunch is here, I ask him to put it on the table. This is the first thing I do every day.” to say.”
“I felt irritable and lonely with no one to talk to. Now, Yuan chats with me every day, so I feel much better,” said Hu.
Yuan was born in a village in Shaoyang, Hunan, and raised by his grandmother. For him, his three elders, including his 91-year-old Shen Lianying, his eldest son, are reminiscent of his own grandmother.
“Auntie Shen often gave me apples to remind me to run slowly and take care of myself. This makes me feel very warm,” said Yuan.
Recently, Yuan brought a garbage bag and helped clean up the trash when delivering food to the elders.
Yuan also leaves a cell phone number in case the elders need help or there is an emergency.
“It is not safe for the elderly to live alone. If they fall down, no one will know. I will,” said Yuan. ■