A TAKEAWAY boss has been donating free meals to elderly and vulnerable people during the coronavirus crisis.

Suly Ali, who runs Big Bite in Rishton, was so worried about the welfare of people in the community that he came up with a delivery service.

He has so far donated £150 to residents but is calling on elderly people to put their pride aside and get food.

Speaking to the Lancashire Telegraph, he said: "At the time, the public was panic buying and leaving supermarket shelves empty.

"It was heart breaking to know the elderly have been coming home and had very minimum food supply to make their evening tea.

"The Government advised over-70s to self isolate so while self isolating how would they go out to get food to make.

"It only made sense for us to give free meals to every vulnerable elderly that had to self isolate.

"All our deliveries during covid-19 are contact-free as we leave the food on the door step and notify the customer that it has arrived.

"The free meal package has no restriction and the elderly can order anything, we don’t mind.

"It takes a lot of courage for them to ring and ask for help.

"So we let them order anything from our big menu because we know the elder generation are very humble and will only order sensibly."

The elderly can order any pizza, burger, kebab from Big Bite Rishton menu and any Peri Peri Chicken or any curry from our AL Minara Rishton Menu.

Suly has been amazed by the response from the community as some residents have donated money to the business to deliver food.

He said: "The reaction have been overwhelming.

"All local customers have praising our work and thanking us

"One person told us that the community should get involved and pay forward towards this free package meal to keep it going.

"That same night a local customer ordered his meal and said Suly 'I love what you guys doing, charge me for a extra pizza and give it towards the free meal'.

"All our free meals go out with a small uplifting message to them."

Suly added: "The Rishton community is very strong and it has been proven many times.

"When things get tough we all come together.

"My father first opened Al Minara in Rishton 1982 and lived in Rishton for many years and then moved to Blackburn but has worked in Rishton since I joined his business in 2008 when I was 16 and have stayed since.

"Over these 12 years I feel I have earned the locals respect, trust and love.

"Always help your local community and elderly."

Any elderly residents in Rishton who are interested in trying out the box should contact 01254 883560.