Nothing is more closely affiliated with hospitality than offering food. Yet when a newly arrived family of 8 from Afghanistan was being settled by Arrive Ministries during the early days of COVID-19, they found themselves caught in a backlog of government food assistance delays, so they couldn’t buy food.

That’s when Pastor Carl Johnson, a friend of Arrive Ministries, opened the doors to his grocery store and allowed the newly-arrived family to fill up their empty pantry with an abundance of food.

“They were new to this country, and they didn’t know where to get food, and I did.”

Pastor Carl Johnson owns Storehouse Grocers in the St. Paul neighborhood of Dayton’s Bluff, where everything is priced lower than $5. The grocery store was started as a practical ministry of his church, Faith City Church, to respond to the high rates of food insecurity many of his neighbors were experiencing.

“They were new to this country, and they didn’t know where to get food, and I did,” Carl simply said.

Then Pastor Carl went above and beyond this initial act of generosity, by purchasing rice and halal meat from another store and delivering it to the family that night.

“We think of our church and grocery store as a place of refuge for the poor, under-resourced and underserved, and that includes refugees and immigrants,” said Pastor Carl.

Thank you to Storehouse Grocers for helping welcome our newest neighbors with an act of hospitality and nourishment they’ll never forget.