OXFORD, Miss. (WMC) - An Oxford pizza shop is offering free pizza for immigrants and refugees.
Dodo Pizza on Jackson Avenue is offering a free medium pizza until Aug. 18 for anyone who’s living in Oxford from another country.
The company, an international business, said they support immigration laws, but want to do something special for immigrants and refugees in their community in light of recent tough times for immigrants in America.
The restaurant's owner says the reason behind the decision is personal.
"You're still valued and this is just a little slice of love that we have,” said Alena Tikhova, owner.
Dodo Pizza workers were prepping Friday for a busy day.
Tikhova is inviting all immigrants to eat free, whether they're here legally or not.
"We do what we can. We have pizza, and this is maybe small, but this is just our small way of showing support and i think this particular time, that group needs of people needs support and appreciation,” said Tikhova.
Most of the responses to the post on Dodo Pizza’s Facebook page were very supportive.
Matthew Smith wrote, "Thank you for doing this. Best pizza and big true hearts."
Some were critical. Dick Tucker said Dodo Pizza was “rewarding illegal activity.”
Other critics say the restaurant should support veterans or people without a home.
"We do what we can, so we address one topic at a time. Right now, I feel like this hate and cruelty is the biggest topic,” said Tikhova.
Tikhova decided to show generosity to the immigrant community after watching news reports Thursday in which Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers arrested hundreds of people in southern Mississippi.
Some children were in tears, asking for their parents.
Tikhova immigrated from Russia four years ago.
"Something needs to be done about immigration and I don't argue with that but just what I saw Thursday in Forrest on Thursday, it's just not right. It doesn't feel right to me as a human being,” said Tikhova.
She says the offer isn't meant to be a political statement, but more of a statement of compassion.
"If they feel welcome and appreciated just a little bit, it's all worth it,” said Tikhova.
Tikhova says DoDo Pizza has given free pizzas to first responders and government workers during the shutdown in the past and they'll have other giveaways in the future.
Immigrants and refugees can get a free pizza until Sunday, Aug. 18.