Picky refugees at an asylum centre in Germany have caused outrage among local politicians by refusing to eat the free food they are served claiming it makes them “sick.”
More than 60 male migrants at the camp set up in truck containers in Offenburg have been boycotting the dining hall on the premises for over a week, bringing in their own food from outside to prepare.
Now they are demanding kitchens to prepare the food in as well as extra cash to buy it – something local authorities have flatly rejected. They say that the catering firm contracted to prepare meals for the migrants is highly professional and aware of the different dietary rules and needs of the different nationalities living in the camp situated on a ring road of the city.
Pakistani refugee Qazi Shahid Shad to a local newspaper: “We do not tolerate the food, it is not our homeland food and sickens us. The news of seemingly ungrateful newcomers demanding both cash and kitchens has played into the hands of refugee opponents who branded them “grasping” on a social media site.
The local authority has totally rejected giving into any of their demands and said most of those who claimed that the food made them ill had not even bothered to try it. Men from Pakistan, India and Gambia make up the population of the camp. Pakistani Muhammad Ayub Afridi said: “All have joined the protest.”
At the same time he stressed: “We are happy and grateful to live in Germany. He said he grew up in a tribal area in Pakistan where he had suffered from poor living conditions and everyday violence.”
Many asylum seekers said they have had bad culinary experiences with catering in other accommodation centres before arriving in Offenburg. Another Pakistani Al Hadi claimed; “I became very sick and lost several kilos in weight.” He has joined the Offenburg canteen boycott demanding kitchens to cook in. All emphasised that their protest had nothing to do with religious commandments relating to dining.
Kai Hockenjos, a spokesman of the local authority responsible for refugee welfare, said: “This is hospitality being trampled upon.
“We find this protest incomprehensible and disappointing.– “Only this week there was a lamb stew on offer every bit as spicy and tasty as that which is made in the countries of origin of the migrants.”
He ruled out any changes to the policy saying no-one would starve and that the boycott “was not a hunger strike” because those refusing to eat canteen food were using their pocket money – around 115 pounds per month, paid for by the German taxpayer – to buy their own rations.
Social workers and refugee workers were talking with the protestors until late on Wednesday without reaching a compromise. But the camp operators said that a handful of protestors were now eating again in the communal canteen.