A food bank in Marl in western Germany has defended itself against accusations of racism after it was revealed that the facility was turning away single men who do not hold German citizenship.
Peter Cremer, chairman of the board of trustees at Tafel Deutschland's Marl branch, said on Thursday that the rule was brought in midway through last year after a huge influx of refugees pushed the local charity to its limits.
Last week it emerged that the branch of Tafel (a German word for table) in the city of Essen was turning away non-German recipients because elderly people and single parents reportedly felt uncomfortable around them at distribution centers.
The Tafel branch in Marl was at pains to stress that their policy was not founded in racism.
"The main problem is that we do not have enough supplies," said chairwoman Renate Kampe, stressing that refugees' behavior was not an issue.
Last week's revelations about the Essen branch sparked nationwide debate in Germany, prompting the group to conduct a crisis meeting late Tuesday at which it decided it would review its policy at a round-table meeting within the next two weeks.