Everything is peachy for elderly villagers

A peach orchard in Shihudang Town's Maoxin Village has launched a senior care free breakfast project
Everything is peachy for elderly villagers
Yue Cheng / Ti Gong

Child accompanied by adults picks peach at an orchard in Shihudang Town.

A peach orchard in Shihudang Town’s Maoxin Village has launched a senior care project where people can own one of its trees with donations used to offer free breakfasts to elderly villagers.

The project, initiated by a group of Songjiang entrepreneurs, allows people to own a peach tree for 500 yuan (US$69.9). The fruit will go to the donors, the money pays for the breakfasts.

So far, 84 companies and hundreds of people have claimed ownership of 200 trees and donated a total of 200,000 yuan. Some 120,000 yuan is to cover the cost of the free meal project, while the remaining 80,000 yuan is used to support the orchard’s daily operation.

“Running the orchard is a welfare project that benefits different people. Families and individuals who claim ownership of the trees harvest fruits and happiness, rural elderly people can have free breakfasts and the daily operation of the orchard provides job opportunities for farmers,” said Cai Hongyong, head of the Songjiang Yixing entrepreneurs’ social promotion group.

“Though the peach is a common fruit sold everywhere in the market. We feel differently when seeing fruit grow on our own trees,” said a donor.

There are more than 1,200 people over the age of 60 in the village. So far more than 50 of them are enjoying free breakfasts, with the majority of them poverty-stricken, disabled or over the age of 85.

“The foods are easily digestible such as steamed buns, fried dough sticks and soybean milk,” said Gu Lingmei, who helps distribute the breakfasts to the elderly.

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