Food fight in Groningen pensioner complex as bosses ban takeaways

A group of pensioners in a sheltered housing project in Groningen face being taken to court because they are refusing to eat the meals provided in the complex.

Instead the pensioners have started ordering takeaways from a company which supplies ‘beef with real gravy’, the Volkskrant reported on Thursday, much to the anger of the centre managers.

The row over the catering goes back several months, when the centre’s own kitchens were closed and meals were shipped in from an outside caterer.

Then the complaints started, Jaap Pronk, 88, told the paper. He and 20 others decided to order in their food from another company and stopped paying towards the collective meal provision.

Now the centre’s management, who declined to speak to the Volkskrant, are taking the pensioners to court, arguing they are breaking the terms of their lease.


Pronk says the contracts make no such claim and give residents free rein to chose their own meal providers. ‘We are no longer boss over our own mouths,’ he said. ‘They have not got a leg to stand on.’

Junior health minister Martijn van Rijn has since become embroiled in the row and says the company would be going too far to take the pensioners to court.

Both sides in the dispute need to come up with a settlement, he said: ‘They need to get back round the table and keep a cool head.’

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