From Iceland — Charity Told to Straighten Up

Charity Told to Straighten Up

Published March 30, 2010

The charity food center Fjölskyldahjálp met with Reykjavík city officials, who sought to make it clear that you cannot discriminate the needy based on national origin.
As reported by the Grapvine, Fjölskyldahjálp was reported by Fréttablaðið to be letting Icelanders in ahead of foreigners. In a phone interview with the journalist reporting the story, director Ásgerður Jóna Flosadóttir told the paper that she had taken all Icelanders ahead of foreigners, her reasoning being that “We will not stand by and watch while senior citizens, who have toiled their whole lives, are turned away because of the demand of foreigners, many of whom only have a residence permit and some of whom don’t even receive welfare benefits.”
This understandably sparked outrage in both city hall and in parliament, where officials emphasized that it was immoral and illegal to discriminate the needy based on their national origin.
Today, Stella Víðisdóttir, the area manager of the Welfare Affairs portion of city hall, and Jórunn Frímannsdóttir, chairperson of the welfare committee, told Vísir that the directorship of Fjölskyldahjálp was given a presentation on human rights and tolerance, and told in no uncertain terms that such discrimination will not be tolerated. They said that Fjölskyldahjálp seemed to understand this message, and have promised not to repeat this behavior again.

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