When the COVID-19 pandemic hit Saskatchewan, it packed a punch. Within days, offices, schools and businesses were shuttered, leaving many residents without a regular source of income. For local restaurant owner Deepansh Mohan, he saw his business dry up and his staff scared for their health and their finances. Mohan owns Regina’s Fritou Chicken and Pizza, located on South Albert. “My staff are young, and many are in university.
They were very anxious about what would happen to their work,” says Deepansh. “COVID-19 cut into our business and our community deeply. I knew I needed to help.” Deepansh reached into his nest egg to keep his business and his staff afloat. “Before the government announced CERB to help people, I made sure my staff were paid,” he says. “And then we started worrying about hungry people in our community.” Soon, Deepansh, his family and his staff started preparing and delivering food to those who otherwise would go hungry. They took calls from parents worried about how they would feed their children, those who couldn’t get out to shop even if they had money and more.
Since late March, Fritou has given away approximately 3,000 pizzas to those who need it, no questions asked. Plus, Deepansh and his family have also created and distributed small food hampers. “We realized people can’t live on just pizzas, so we made up packages of lentils, rice and vegetables to help people stretch their food supplies,” says Deepansh. The Fritou team also made sure that no one felt any embarrassment or shame for asking for help. “We’re living in a hard time, and we need to help one another,” he says. “There is no need to feel bad for asking. We want to help.” Today, the restaurant is still helping people when they’re called. Things have gotten better for many people, and Mohan has received many thanks and gratitude for his help. “It’s just my way of helping the city I call home,” he says.
The Mohan family and Fritou team will also gratefully accept any donations to their community giving project. “If there is anyone who wants to help, we’re always open to it. Giving back is a great feeling, knowing you’re helping people when they need it most.” To learn more about Fritou’s generosity and how you can help, call Deepansh at 306.559.0641. Fritou Chicken and Pizza is located at 4610 Albert Street and open from 11 am to 11 pm daily.