German food bank criticized for turning away foreigners

A woman passes by the food bank in the western German city Essen Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. The German food bank is being criticized after deciding to only register new users if they prove they’ve got German citizenship, claiming young foreign men are scaring away elderly people and women. (Roland Weihrauch/dpa via AP)

A food bank in Germany is being criticized for its decision to stop serving more foreigners, who make up a growing percentage of its users

BERLIN — A food bank in Germany is being criticized for its decision to stop serving more foreigners, who make up a growing percentage of its users.

The food bank in the western city of Essen announced last month it will only register new users if they prove they've got German citizenship, saying young foreign men are scaring away elderly people and women.

Other food banks, migrant groups and local politicians said it was wrong to exclude people who need charity.

The chairman of Essen's integration council, Miguel Martin Gonzalez Kliefken, says the decision plays into the hands of far-right groups, some of which have hailed the move.

In an interview Friday with broadcaster n-tv, Kliefken said the food bank should remove any troublemakers rather than punish people based on their nationality.

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