MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) – The world is watching as the crisis in Ukraine escalates, and for some along the Grand Strand, the conflict hits close to home.

Since 2018, Gloria Kuqo has sold food and other products from all over Eastern Europe at her store Europa Market in Myrtle Beach. Kuqo is originally from Albania and connects with others from Eastern Europe every day through her store.

“You’re bringing back your homeland,” Kuqo said. “You’re reminiscing on the food you grew up with.”

Kuqo said that people all want the same thing, despite their background.

“Russia and Ukraine. Beautiful countries. Beautiful people. Amazing people. So sweet. So nice. Down to earth,” she said. “And it really is sad to see them going through this. I think everybody just wants peace.”

Former South Carolina governor and current executive director of the World Food Program David Beasley says the organization is in place to help people in Ukraine.

“We have teams on the ground as we speak, they’ve been on the ground scouting out the different dynamics,” he said.

The organization said food impacts could be felt beyond Ukraine’s borders, and said it’s ready to react to a quickly-changing situation.

“We will be able to scale up quickly,” Beasley said. “We know how to do that. We do it all the time. We’re preparing looking at a lot of different options that might be available for us inside [Ukraine].” 

The World Food Program said that since the Black Sea Basin is one of the world’s most important areas for agricultural exports, food supplies across could be disrupted across much of the region.