Regina restaurant providing free lunches to healthcare workers, students during pandemic

Lucky Mehrok, co-owner of Lucky's Meat Masala.
Lucky Mehrok, co-owner of Lucky's Meat Masala. Dave Parsons / Global News

Inspired by his wife who works in health care, Lucky Mehrok wanted to do something to give back to front-line workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re all going through a very hard time, especially for those working on the front lines,” said Mehrok.

So, Mehrok asked himself what his Regina business could do to help make things easier on those feeling the added stress. The answer was found in the way to everyone’s hearts: through their stomachs.

For two weeks now, Lucky’s Meat Masala on Victoria Avenue has been providing free lunches and delivery to Regina health-care workers.

“I’m in the food industry, and this is what I can do to give back,” Mehrok said.

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But his generosity doesn’t stop there. The restaurant is also providing free lunches for students, who can pick up their free lunch from the Victoria Avenue restaurant.

Mehrok said his heart goes out to all students who are out of jobs, including international students who came to Canada for school with no savings and little resources.

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“We have some savings, but these people are vulnerable. They suddenly have to deal with COVID-19 or are out of a job,” said Mehrok. “We thought we could help.”

Rise in Bread Making in Saskatchewan
Rise in Bread Making in Saskatchewan

All the food is being paid for out of pocket by Mehrok. Many people have offered up donations to help, but he denies the money every time.

It’s his Sikh faith that encourages him to give back with what he has, he says.

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“All of this is being done with our own savings,” Mehrok said. “In Sikhism, there is a principle: we donate 10 per cent of what we make.”

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Lucky’s Meat Masala says they’ll continue to provide free lunches throughout the pandemic. As for how people can help, he asks them to just take care of themselves and their health.

“The community has supported our businesses for the last six years, and now it’s time we give back to the community.”

The free lunch is available to students and health-care workers from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. People are asked to call ahead at (306) 779-0068. Delivery is only available for health-care workers; students must pick up their lunch at the restaurant.

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Health officials caution against all international travel. All international travellers returning to Saskatchewan are required to self-isolate for 14 days in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others.

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

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To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.