Second food bank rejects racism accusation over distribution policy

A Tafel (food bank) in the western town on Marl rejected accusations of racism on Thursday after it decided to stop serving single adults in the wake of the refugee crisis.

Second food bank rejects racism accusation over distribution policy
The Tafel in Marl. Photo: DPA

Renate Kampe, the head of the charity in Marl, North Rhine-Westphalia, told broadcaster WDR on Thursday that they would be accepting no new single adults for the time being due to the fact that they had reached the limit of their capacity to distribute more food.

From now on, the charity will only serve families and pensioners.

Kampe said that the refugee influx had pushed the charity – which distributes old food collected from supermarkets among the needy – to its limits.

After coming in for online criticism for a “racist” policy, Kampe stressed however that the new rule did not exclude people based on their country of origin and that it applied to single German men as well as foreigners.

“When someone accuses us of racism over this, then I don’t understand the world anymore,” she told the Westdeutsche Allgemeine.

Last week a Tafel, or food bank, in Essen became the centre of a media storm after its decision to stop taking any new clients who do not possess a German passport.

The head of the Essener Tafel caused outrage among left-wing politicians by complaining that some migrant groups shared a “give-me gene” and did not understand Germany's “queueing culture”.

But Kampe denied that the decision of the Tafel in Marl had anything to do with the behaviour of young asylum seekers.

“They have a different idea of the role of the woman, but my female staff and myself deal with that pretty well,” she told WDR, explaining that the decision had purely been motivated by the fact that here was no longer enough food to go around.

Since the media storm created by the decision of the Tafel in Essen, various other food banks have reported on their experience with migrants.

In the eastern state of Thuringia, the head of the Tafel in Ilmenau complained on Thursday that asylum seekers had physically attacked her staff and stolen from the premises.

On the other hand, in the Wiesbaden area in Hesse, Tafel organizations have said that they have not had any complaints from German customers about the behaviour of migrants.

READ MORE: How a food charity has sparked a furious debate about refugees, poverty and racism