Charity launches UK’s first vending machine for homeless people

Vending-machine-final-v1A vending machine which gives out free food and clothes to homeless people has been launched for the first time in the UK in the run up to Christmas.

A new charity, Action Hunger, plans to stock the machine in Nottingham with excess produce donated by supermarkets, such as fresh fruit and sandwiches, as well as essentials it has bought, like socks, toothpaste and sanitary towels.

Up to 100 homeless people will be able to access the vending machine 24 hours a day using a traceable key card.

Action Hunger has partnered with The Friary, an outreach centre in the city, to oversee people’s access to the vending machine cards. The FareShare charity has donated half of the vending machine’s items.

Trustee Huzaifah Khaled said that the new charity is planning to add more locations next year.

One will be installed in Manchester in January and depending on the success of the scheme in Nottingham, they will then be installed in London and Birmingham.

Key-card-final-v1“Action Hunger is committed to alleviating poverty and hardship amongst the homeless. We install vending machines that provide free food and clothing in key locations of cities across the United Kingdom — and beyond,” the charity said on its website.

“The machines dispense water, fresh fruit, energy bars, crisps, chocolate, and sandwiches, as well as socks, sanitary towels, antibacterial lotion, toothbrush and toothpaste combination packs, and books. A considerable amount of the food we vend is received from redistribution organisations that seek to reduce food waste.

“Use of the machines is exclusively permitted to those in need, and items can only be vended with the use of a special key card, which our partner organisations in each locality give to our users.

“At the most elementary level, Action Hunger’s machines provide access for the most vulnerable in our society to satiate the most basic of needs — that of sustenance.”