11 Jan
Vending Machines for Homeless Launch in U.K. Vending Machines for Homeless Launch in U.K.

Vending Machines for Homeless Launch in U.K.

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Action Hunger is self-described as "a charity with a new approach to combating homelessness."

Part of that approach is distributing and maintaining vending machines that provide free clothing and food in various places all over the United Kingdom.

Items distributed by the machines include energy bars, chocolate, sandwiches, water, fresh fruit, and crisps, as well as antibacterial lotion, books, socks, toothbrush and toothpaste combination packs, sanitary towels, and books. Much of the food gathered by Action Hunger comes from organizations that wish to find effective ways to reduce food waste.

Only those in need have permission to access the machines by the use of a special key card given out by Action Hunger's partner organizations.

The group's web page says, "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."

Those with key cards can request three items each day from the machines. That restriction is in place to prevent an unhealthy dependence on the machines. Instead, the folks at Action Hunger hope that the machines will complement other available services that are designed to help break the cycle of homelessness.

Another benefit of the machines is that the items inside them are available 24/7, so that anyone who needs, say, a sandwich at 3 a.m., can use a key card to get one -- and not have to wait until a shelter or warming house opens the next day.

Action Hunger points out that the machines are economical, since they don't require a staff to run them like shelters do.

Instead, they say, "a bank of volunteers manage the day-to-day operation."

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Read 2551 times Last modified on Thursday, 28 December 2017 02:18
Jim Lillie

Jim began writing for newspapers and designing for publishing companies at a time when both industries were just beginning to make the switch from manual to digital platforms. Jim lives in Boulder, Colorado with his teenage son.

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