ROTTERDAM, 12 July 2023 – As part of an ongoing commitment to community care, Rotterdam is expanding the number of care restaurants (zorgrestaurants) in its neighbourhoods, aiming to offer more accessible, affordable meals for the city's senior citizens.
Subsidised expansion of care restaurants
The city council has pledged over €2 million in subsidies over the next few years to facilitate this expansion, with an emphasis on providing spaces for older residents to socialise and participate in community activities. While some initiatives currently exist across different Rotterdam districts, the council, composed of the mayor and aldermen, intends to substantially increase this number.
One of the first beneficiaries of this program is the neighbourhood centre, Huis van de Wijk ‘Het Lage Land’. A grant from the city council enabled the purchase of kitchen equipment to facilitate cooking for large groups, thus making it possible to host regular cooking activities for seniors.
New neighbourhood restaurant launched
Huis van de Wijk 'Het Lage Land' saw the recent inauguration of a new community kitchen, 'Kookstudio Het Lage Land', on 7 July, in the presence of local residents and Alderman Ronald Buijt.
“With this subsidy, seniors can meet and enjoy meals together at more locations in the city, which are affordable and healthy,” said Ronald Buijt, Alderman for Care, Elderly and Youth Care. “This way, we tackle loneliness among the elderly,” he added.
How the subsidy works
The subsidy aims to stimulate and support the establishment of new care and community restaurants and aid in the growth of existing ones, thereby creating more accessible locations where seniors can have a conversation and enjoy healthy, affordable meals.
Only care and community restaurants that host dining activities for the elderly at least twice a week can apply for the subsidy. The subsidy can be used for purchasing kitchen equipment, training staff, setting up efficient marketing and communication, and much more. In addition, start-up community kitchens can provide local residents with vouchers for a free trial meal.
The subsidy scheme will run until 2026, with €450,000 available for 2023, €680,000 for 2024, and €530,000 for the period from January 2025 to December 2026.
Location details and directions
The newly opened 'Kookstudio Het Lage Land' is situated in the heart of the 'Het Lage Land' district, a lively neighbourhood popular among locals for its communal spaces and events. To reach the location, you can easily use public transportation or cycle, as per Rotterdam's sustainable transport guidelines.