Tafel – which distributes old food collected from supermarkets among the needy – rejected accusations of racism this week after it decided to stop serving single male adults, Renate Kampe, the head of the charity in Marl, North Rhine-Westphalia, told broadcaster WDR.
On Thursday, Kampe said that they would be accepting no new single adults as they had reached the limit of their distribution capacity. Only families and pensioners will be served from now on, she said.
According to Kampe the migrant crisis had pushed the charity over its limits. She rejected accusations of exhibiting a “racist” policy, since the new rule did not exclude people based on their country of origin.
“When someone accuses us of racism over this, then I don’t understand the world anymore,” she told the Westdeutsche Allgemeine.
Last week a soup kitchen in Essen unleashed a media storm by refusing new clients who do not possess a German passport, complaining that some migrant groups shared a “give-me gene” while refusing to abide by the German “queueing culture”.
Kampe also noted the cultural problems in Marl regarding women, but said they were “dealing” with such difficulties. “They [migrants] have a different idea of the role of the woman, but my female staff and myself deal with that pretty well,” she told WDR. “The main problem is that we do not have enough supplies,” she said.
Since the news of the violence against elderly ethnic Germans in Essen, various other food banks have reported similar experiences with migrants. In the eastern state of Thuringia, the head of the Tafel in Ilmenau revealed on Thursday that migrants had physically attacked her staff and stolen from the premises.
The Marl chapter is just one of the 930-strong chain of Tafel charities across Germany, distributing food among needy families at a specified time weekly. Those enrolled in the social program are mainly the elderly or single mothers who are unemployed or low-income beneficiaries.
Old people, who do not receive a pension or single mothers have always been the target public, but the picture has since changed: Demanding migrants, seniors crowded to the side and frightened women, discarded food and declined donations.
For months the organisers have been keeping silent about it. One of the AfD members in Essen, Guido Reil, told German online outlet Junge Freiheit, that many of his friends had worked tirelessly to build up the charity. They are all conservatives. None of the politicians now raging against Tafel have ever contributed either, he says.
Not only the charity in Essen, but Reil’s own home and his wife’s car have been attacked by leftists and vandalised, resulting in thousands of euros in damages.
Reil also noted that these attackers – whom he knows – were not in any way involved in helping charities to feed the hungry and the poor in the city either. He also described the young migrant males as having a “consumerist” mentality.
He added that older immigrant communities were better integrated, and often made use of the food banks but presented none of the problems generated by the new arrivals.
Chancellor Angela Merkel herself was criticized after her criticism of the Essen decision in an interview with the television station RTL. The FDP chairman Christian Lindner told her to stop harassing the charity and offer help instead. Green Party leader Robert Habeck said volunteers are paying for what politians have failed to do.