Food Bank That Serves Only German Citizens ‘Not Good,’ Merkel Says

David Krayden | Ottawa Bureau Chief

German Chancellor Angela Merkel doesn’t believe a food bank should be for Germans only.

As BBC News reports, Merkel, who has been criticized for opening the doors to 1.2 million asylum seekers between 2016 and 2017, says the charity distributing the free food shouldn’t do so based on “categorizations.”

Essener Tafel, which provides food to about 16,000 people a day in Essen, Germany, began to bar foreigners from using their services because they were taking 75 percent of the food. In order to be served, people coming to the food bank must show proof of German citizenship with a passport.

Although the charity says it is a temporary measure to deal with a crisis of supply, that hasn’t stopped critics from slamming the decision or local vandals from defacing the group’s vehicles with graffiti decrying “Nazis.”

Merkel joined the discussion on Saturday, telling national broadcaster RTL, “One shouldn’t run services on the basis of such categorizations. That’s not good. But it also shows the amount of pressure there is, and how many people are needy. That’s why I hope they can find good solutions which do not exclude groups.”

But the chairman of Essener rejected Merkel’s advice. Jörg Sartor spoke angrily about the criticism. “A load of politicians are laying into us now — but they are ill-informed. They ought to reciprocate and help out here — after that they can voice an opinion, by all means,” said Jörg Sartor.

Sartor said, “I’m almost ready to quit.”

He has previously said the decision to exclude foreigners was made because they were crowding out the elderly and single mothers who were opting not to seek the charity’s services anymore.

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