Using electronic key cards, homeless men and women in New York City will soon be able to get three free items a day from one of these orange vending machines. Basic but necessary items like socks, tampons, toothbrushes, and water will be made available to them. There will also be food, like fresh fruit, chips, sandwiches, and chocolate (all donations from local supermarkets, charities, and shops). One of the most popular items? Books.
The man behind the project is Huzaifah Khaled. He's the founder of Action Hunger, a British charity that is "committed to alleviating poverty and hardship amongst the homeless."
Khaled was recently interviewed on WBUR, and talked about the first machine already being used in Nottingham, England since January:
"The early data and feedback has been very, very promising. In fact, it's far surpassed even our own expectations. It's offering them a little more dignity. It's giving them a little more agency over their own lives. It's really heartwarming to see our service being used exactly as designed."