St. Louis Grocery Store Global Foods Hosting Fundraiser for Afghan Refugees


The Afghanistan flag in an aisle at Global Foods. - COURTESY GLOBAL FOODS
  • Courtesy Global Foods
  • The Afghanistan flag in an aisle at Global Foods.

While the International Institute of St. Louis has been “overwhelmed with generosity” from receiving donations for incoming Afghan refugees, those donations have met a temporary pause while the nonprofit sorts through what they have. The one item they can always accept? Grocery gift cards.

That’s where Global Foods (421 N Kirkwood Road; 314-835-1112) comes in. The international grocer has introduced a gift card match program to benefit Afghan refugees. Until the end of October, shoppers can purchase $25 gift cards that will be donated to refugee families and matched by Global Foods. Shoppers must tell the cashier they are purchasing the gift card for donation.

“As immigrants from Thailand, my parents built Global Foods to offer a sense of community and comfort to families who relocate to St. Louis,” Shayn Prapaisilp, Vice President of Global Foods Group, said in a press release. “Many of our customers are refugees, and we want to create a safe space for our new neighbors to shop and find everything that they need for a home cooked meal with ingredients that they recognize from their home countries.”

The grocery store carries a variety of ingredients from over 50 countries, including Afghanistan, Bosnia and Iran.

The International Institute’s president Arrey Obenson said the work to support Afghan and other refugees who come to St. Louis relies on the community’s help.

“When the community comes together to contribute what they can afford, we also come together in our hearts,” Obenson said in the press release. “When others extend the gift of hospitality, St. Louis becomes what we’ve always hoped it would be — a welcoming and inclusive place for these new refugees. Thank you, St. Louis!”

Global Foods said they would match the monetary value of the gift cards up to $1,500.When reached by phone today, a Global Foods employee said the store has sold about eleven gift cards so far since the program began on September 21.

If you’d like more information, Global Foods encourages you to call the store or visit the market between 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. The International Institute can always accept grocery gift cards, monetary donations and bus passes.
Follow Jenna on Twitter at @writesjenna. Email the author at
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