St. Louis nonprofit feeds 160 Afghan refugees on Thanksgiving

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ST. LOUIS — As many enjoyed their Thanksgiving meals, a local Islamic organization made sure dozens of Afghan refugees also got a hot meal this holiday. 

It was the first Thanksgiving in America for more than 150 Afghan refugees, and the Islamic Foundation of Greater St. Louis made sure it was one to remember.  

“We have been providing meals for the Afghan refugees for nine days. Today’s the ninth day,” said  Lisa Grozdanic, who runs the foundation’s House of Goods program. 

On Thursday, Grozdanic and several volunteers delivered a warm meal for each refugee and warm clothes.  Over 150 hot meals were provided by Salam Market. Owner Hassan Sleem said they were supposed to be closed – but opened his kitchen so they could help.  

“People need us. They need our help,” said Sleem. “They’re starving. So, we look at it like this — if they need us, we have to step in. We have to help them,” Sleem told FOX 2.

Refugee Sayed Abdali said he’s grateful.  

“We are really thankful for the area, and especially from the Muslim and Islamic Foundation and The House of Goods,” Abdali said. “We need more help or waiting for more support.” 

Grozdanic said without their help – the refugees wouldn’t have gotten a meal today.  Some of them got coats today for the first time. She hopes other groups step up to help as well.  

“It’s an amazing feeling. That’s what it’s about, us as a community coming together and getting done what needs to be done. These families needed help, and our community reached out and gave the help that they needed,” Grozdanic added.  

The group went going to 2 other hotels Thursday night in the Saint Louis area and helped a total of 160 refugees.  

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