Church and business team up to feed the homeless in Portsmouth

Ray Martin is looking forward to his hamburger and chips, and  is served by Laura Parkhurst and Tony Sarigul from The Istanbul Grill Picture: Malcolm Wells (180416-6293)
Ray Martin is looking forward to his hamburger and chips, and is served by Laura Parkhurst and Tony Sarigul from The Istanbul Grill Picture: Malcolm Wells (180416-6293)
The Sunday of this year's Mutiny Festival was cancelled after the deaths of Tommy Cowan and Georgia Jones Picture: Malcolm Wells

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TASTY meals were set out for the homeless to enjoy at a church – or those who were simply in need of a decent meal.

For some weeks now St Agatha’s Church in Market Way, Portsmouth, has opened its doors to lend a helping hand to those on the streets.

Homeless people from far and wide have been invited to eat hot meals, provided by businesses, locals and the church itself.

This week, Fratton Road’s Istanbul Grill provided between 30 and 40 people with filling meals.

Tony Sarigul, who has worked for the family business for more than 40 years, said the grill were more than happy to help out.

Tony, also a Conservative candidate for Fratton in the upcoming local elections, said: ‘We’re always doing things for charity.

‘We spent a lot of time and effort making the food, but it was 100 per cent worth it.

‘We cooked things like mixed kebabs, soup, burgers and chips, and everyone seemed to love the food.

‘I’d definitely do it again. You could see how grateful the people were to get the food.’

The church serves up the food every Monday between 5.30pm and 6pm, and people stay until about 8pm.

About 30-40 people attend every week to receive a meal.

Father John Maunder, from the church, said the weekly event is in its early stages, but that he hopes it will continue into the summer months.

He said: ‘Everyone seemed to enjoy the food from Istanbul Grill – plates were empty and people were walking out with smiles on their faces.

‘The number of people coming in each week is about 30-40 – whether that be homeless people or those that might not be able to afford a proper meal on that day.

‘We have familiar faces and new people each time.

‘Everyone needs to eat, and local people and businesses have stepped up in a number of ways to help and donate food – something we welcome.

‘As long as we can keep the event going we will.

‘Everyone is always very appreciative, and people can also have a coffee and a chat.’