German Chancellor Angela Merkel is the latest politician to criticise a major food bank’s decision to bar foreigners from receiving free food.
The charity Essener Tafel called it a temporary restriction necessary because the share of foreigners using the food bank had soared to 75% in recent years.
The charity says it helps about 16,000 poor people in Essen, a city in the western industrial Ruhr region.
Vandals have sprayed “Nazis” on the charity’s delivery vans.
Mrs Merkel spoke out against Essener Tafel’s new rule requiring visitors to show a German passport in order to receive food.
“One shouldn’t run services on the basis of such categorisations. 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,” she told the broadcaster RTL.