Over the past 12 weeks, Mr. Mozzarella has been delivering free pizza lunches to frontline workers all over North Grenville. Katrina Kassis says it all started with the COVID-19 lockdown. She and her family, who own the restaurant, decided to stay open for delivery and take-out, but found that ensuring the safety of their staff and customers during the uncertainty of a pandemic to be extremely challenging and stressful. “We were all pretty scared of what might happen,” she remembers.
The longer they worked, the more they realized that there were so many other people in the community who were in the same boat. At first, they decided to send lunches to the Kemptville District Hospital (KDH) to support their frontline workers, but soon they expanded their reach to include other local organizations and businesses who were continuing to serve customers during the shut down. “So many businesses also deserve praise,” Katrina says. “They needed that recognition too.”
Every week for the past three months, Mr. Mozzarella has been contacting local frontline organizations and businesses to supply them with a free pizza lunch. Katrina says they have delivered pizzas to about 30 local businesses and organizations, including KDH twice, all the local banks, grocery stores, vet clinics, and seniors residences, Community Living North Grenville, Beth Donovan Hospice, OPP, LCBO, Geronimo, Brewed Awakenings, and more. “Whoever was working, got a full lunch,” Katrina said, adding that they delivered anywhere from 10-15 to 1-2 pizzas per workplace.
Mr. Mozzarella still has a few more places they would like to support on their list. They have been in Kemptville for over ten years, and they have always been an advocate for supporting local. Katrina says that, after moving to Kemptville from Ottawa a couple years ago, she really appreciates the giving and supportive spirit that lives in North Grenville. “The community has been very supportive of us,” she says. “Seeing everybody band together the way we have has been very inspiring.”