At first blush, the following seems like a very good idea. Certainly much better than passing bylaws that ban begging (Auckland, Napier, Wellington…) and/or placing spikes in places people may use to grab some sleep. Just a shame then, that access to the vending machine is contingent upon engaging with approved “support services” – which is just imposing an unhelpful “sing for your supper” mentality onto what could otherwise be a very good thing.
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 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.