THE proclaimed home of piri piri in Bolton is putting on a night of free food for the homeless every week.

The Meating, on Crook Street next to Bolton Interchange, has been serving up hot and hearty meals to Bolton’s homeless and staff are seeing the number of visitors in need rise. 

The Meating hosts the homeless on Mondays evenings each week from 7pm to 7:30pm, offering a different menu options every time from burgers to chicken and chips.

Owner Azad Miah said: “I came up with the idea before we even opened the place two years ago. 

“When we first opened we couldn’t get enough help to run the night.

“Homeless organisers come in and give us a hand. Feed the Homeless organisation helped me start this.

“Homeless in Bolton have been helping.” 

Mr Miah added: “We started in early December. We started off getting two, three, four and now we’re at 16. 

“We always see different faces, it depends where they are. I’ve been told that’s quite normal. The numbers are growing, definitely.”

The owner says some people are regulars of the night, including a man named Chris, who is believed to be a veteran.

Mr Miah has exchanged heartwarming stories with those who stop by for food: “They’re good people. Chris talks about how he wants to marry his girlfriend and how he’s going to propose on Valentine’s Day.

“It encourages other people who know that I’m doing this kind of stuff to come in and help out, saying ‘can I give £10 to the homeless’ — it’s nice.”

Rough sleepers are 17 times more likely to experience horrifying abuse and have a high risk of dying young, according to a leading homelessness charity.

The stark warning came after the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government revealed that 4,677 people slept rough on a single night last autumn. 

The number looks set to increase as the number of homelessness applications rose last year.

Figures published by the Scottish Government indicate local authorities received 18,486 applications for homelessness assistance during the six months between April 1 and September 30 in 2018. It represents a 2% increase of 284 applications for the same period in 2017.

A number of places have offered nightly shelter and food this Winter, including the Bolton Council of Mosques (BCOM) hub on Vicarage Lane, as the part of the Bolton Homeless Alliance.