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Taxi companies also have a social task. A good example was the chat bus of A-Tax de Vries Personenvervoer, which was a godsend in the middle of the corona crisis for many elderly people who could still talk to their loved ones in this way. As a mobile meeting place, the chat bus is also a revenue model and the social initiative is in the spotlight. For example, the chat bus from Arendonk as a mobile meeting place is all about connection.

In addition to the transport rides they offer with Trevvel Samen and Trevvel Route, residents in Rotterdam can contact Trevvel Social for practical help, health and social or emotional questions. The employees of Trevvel Social listen happy to provide tailor-made support in the search for solutions. Trevvel Social is a special collaboration between Trevvel, HOWEVER en WMO Radar.


The supermarkets also see this social task as a responsibility. According to the ANP, supermarket chain Jumbo will open two hundred new so-called chat cash registers next year. These are cash registers for people who are not in a hurry and "would like to have a chat" at the checkout, according to the supermarket chain. There is already a chat box in Vlijmen in Brabant. The next one will also be in Brabant, in Udenhout. The idea for the chat box arose two years ago. The first was opened in the summer of 2019. According to Jumbo, that was a great success and now “the time is right” to further expand the concept. Jumbo also looks at areas where loneliness is common. Jumbo is a member of the National Coalition against Loneliness, an initiative of the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS) to combat loneliness.

"We start from the principle that there is a story behind every facade"


Loneliness has worsened during the corona pandemic, reported the Luisterlijn, among others. The telephone helpline had a record number of conversations with people who were worried about something last year. This was mainly due to the lockdowns, which made people feel more depressed. According to the ANP, researchers from Maastricht University previously calculated that severe loneliness costs society 2 billion euros in extra care. 

According to the university, one in ten Dutch people feel seriously or very lonely and as many as four in ten Dutch people experience some degree of loneliness. Albert Heijn says that the supermarkets of the chain "often play an important social role in the neighbourhood". Customers can also drink free coffee in the shops. "As a result, we have been a place in many neighborhoods for years where everyone who needs a chat can meet," said a spokesperson.

The umbrella organization of supermarkets Central Bureau for Food Trade (CBL) says that the increase in self-scanning checkouts means less crowds at regular checkouts. “That leaves room for a chat,” said a spokeswoman.

Also read: New home delivery hub for Jumbo in Heerenveen

supermarkets see this social task as a responsibility