More than 40,000 meals were delivered to vulnerable people in Blackburn thanks to a team of volunteers based at The Meal Factory.

The company caters for online orders only from a base at Unit 14, Hamilton Street, Mill Hill, and is being touted as the future of takeaway meals.

Meals such as pizzas and ‘man-eater kebabs’ are available alongside desserts and drinks are being offered with chefs preparing the food on order.

But during the lockdown the company decided to reinvent itself as a location where meals could be packed and delivered to local community organisations and the elderly.

These were all donated to the wider community with packs containing curries, rice and pasta delivered where ever it was requested.

It is being managed by Zuber Ghani.

He said: “It is not a takeaway but we offer everything that you can get from your normal takeaway. During lockdown with many people unable to get out of the house or shielding we decided it would be more beneficial to help out as much as we could.

“During the first lockdown we managed to prepare and deliver more than 40,000 meals for the homeless and the vulnerable.

“We were making food for about two months constantly and these meals went to people’s houses, care homes and the salvation army among others

“Working in conjunction with Blackburn with Darwen council we delivered food to people’s homes who were not able to venture out.

“We had volunteers attending packing the meals and every day up to 500 meals a day were being delivered. There were about twenty to thirty volunteers who helped us for several months and we are thankful for their assistance.

“It was an amazing experience to be able to help people in this way and we hope we assisted as much as we could in what was a difficult time for everyone.

“Presently we are working in conjunction with the Fire Service and the Prince’s Trust to deliver meals to those who need them most.”

Zuber said the concept of not being open to the public had worked well for them.

“We bought the unit from a company that was doing meals on wheels for the elderly so I suppose the need to continue to help the community carried on from there.

“Nowadays everyone is ordering online so for us everything comes through the website. The unit opens from 4pm to midnight seven days a week.

“We are looking to rebrand the website in the coming months with some new meals being offered. It is all about offering new services to customers.

“We will also have some new offers to catch the attention of Blackburn.