SANDWICH shop bosses have pledged to hand out free food to homeless people in their store once a week.

Jason Jeal, 45, who is the manager of Sizzlers Sandwich Bar, situated in Bank Top, Blackburn, and part time store worker Deborah Clemence want to help the homeless in Blackburn and Darwen during the 'cold' winter months.

Jason, who co-runs the store with his wife Gillian, 46, and Deborah will extend the store's opening hours every Thursday for the sole purpose of inviting homeless people to enjoy some free food at the 26-year-old sandwich shop.

The duo were inspired to launch the new initiative after they were decided to hand out some stew to some homeless people around Blackburn town centre last Friday, which they initially planned to throw it out as rubbish.

Since then Sizzlers bosses have uploaded a picture of the part time worker, Deborah, handing out some stew to a homeless man in the town centre on their Facebook page, which has attracted more than 50,000 views.

The two have been 'shocked' by the response, which they say has inspired to make them launch the weekly initiative.

Jason said: "I keep driving around town and see a lot of people sat about in the cold so had a drive around last week and fed them some left over stew.

"There is only one soup kitchen on Wednesday so we wanted to do a Thursday night and make some soup and other things for them.

"We are inviting homeless people into the shop and are looking for donations.

"If anyone could send us anything it would be a great help to us."

Deborah said: "In the picture we took, Jason and I asked a homeless man and if he wanted some strew.

"We asked if he wanted a picture which he was more than happy with.

"He was so grateful for the food.

"I have been quite shocked how big the status has gone but it has inspired us to do more work."

The bosses said there will be a variety of stock to eat, including a cup of soup and roll, butties and a stew, which will vary from week to week.

More than 10 children from a local school have already donated hats, coats, blankets and toiletries and around a dozen people have offered to volunteer their services to the cause.

If anyone wants to donate or volunteer to help feed the homeless contact Jason on 01254 56942.