German Food Bank’s New Policy suggets no more free food for foreigners

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Individuals without German citizenship were turned away on Wednesday as a food bank in Germany offered new access tokens for benefits, keeping with the charities controversial policy of taking on no new foreign recipients.

Several applicants without German papers were turned away in the city of Essen.

Those not accepted during the weekly distribution of new tokens were told to try again in six weeks.

The Essener Tafel charity has drawn nationwide criticism since its revelation last week that, since January, it was not taking on new non-German recipients.

The group said that about three-quarters of those it was helping were foreigners and that other recipients, like the elderly and single parents, were uncomfortable around them at distribution centres.

Faced with the controversy, the group conducted a crisis meeting late Tuesday and said it would review its policy, with a round table meeting on the matter set to take place within two weeks.

There was neither violence nor protest on Wednesday as people were turned away.

Joerg Sartor, Head of the Local Tafel Branch in Essen, said he expected about 50 new tokens – which are good for a year – would be handed out Wednesday.

The next food distribution begins at 12:30 pm (1130 GMT).

The group’s ban is only on new foreigners gaining access. Those, who have already received tokens will continue to be served. (dpa/NAN)

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