Shanghai breakfast van serves meals for quarantined residents
A Shanghai breakfast van has branched out this week, offering meals to residents in a neighborhood quarantined due to COVID-19.
The vans have become a common sight in the past year, offering on-the-go meals for office workers during the city's morning rush hour.
Since Sunday, when the Guixi residential neighborhood in Huangpu district was categorized as a medium-risk area for the spread of the disease, a red van has waited nearby from 7 am to 9 am every day for volunteers to pick up breakfasts for residents.
"How to help residents maintain a healthy eating habit is a major challenge we face when a neighborhood with over 900 people, most of them elderly, is locked down," said Ru Lei, deputy director of the subdistrict committee at East Nanjing Road, where the Guixi neighborhood is located.
The van, operated by local food company Bright Food Group, offers five varieties of hot meal sets and 11 kinds of heat-and-eat frozen products, including eggs, porridge, and steamed buns stuffed with meat or vegetables, with many prices discounted by 20 percent. Basic cooking ingredients, such as rice, noodles and oil, are also available.
Residents can place orders online or inform volunteers of their needs, and volunteers help with deliveries, said Lin Chen, who is in charge of the company's breakfast service.
"Volunteers will line up with appropriate social distancing, fetch the ordered food at the front counter of the van, and make payments online," she said."Those not able to pay online can drop cash in a cup.
"We also offer free breakfasts to the volunteers. The service will last till the quarantine period ends."
Lin said protective measures for workers are well-rounded, with sufficient supplies of equipment like protective clothing, masks, gloves and alcohol wipes.
"The vehicle parks in a designated field after the service," she said. "We open its doors and windows to increase ventilation, and disinfect it thoroughly. All employees are required to wash their hands and discard the used protective clothing."
Ru said meal sets offered by delivery agencies are available to quarantined residents for lunch and dinner.
"We are grateful for the convenience brought by the service, which relieves our anxiety," said Yu Kai, 27, a volunteer in the neighborhood.