Throughout our history, we have seen vending progress to admirable lengths. Never more so, however, than when the world’s first vending machine was created for homeless people. Installed in Nottingham last month, the machine dispenses key items such as water, fresh fruit, soap, toothpaste and books. Whilst the technology behind it isn’t anything revolutionary, it’s the generosity behind the idea that has sparked attention. The Guardian are just one of the institutions to report on the hot topic…
NOTTINGHAM VENDING MACHINE PROJECT
They state that Nottingham born Huzaifah Khaled, 29, was the brains behind the project when he was undertaking a PhD in Law. He successfully managed to persuade N&W Global Vending, one of the world’s biggest vending companies and also one of our suppliers, to give him £10,000 for free. From there, he managed to get the Friary on board, a drop-in centre where homeless people can go to seek advice. They are just one of Action Hunger’s partner organisations dotted around the UK.
VENDING MACHINE FOR A GENUINE NEED
The charity say that the vending machine is designed to work in a way so that it is only used by those in genuine need. Items are dispensed using a keycard, which are handed out by those at the Friary. While the machine has been criticised by a few for making it ‘easier’ for people to sleep rough, the keycard limits users to three items in order to stop ‘dependency’, according to Action Hunger.
“We want our low-cost solution to complement other services that are available, as engagement with professionals and local support services is instrumental to breaking the cycle of homelessness” it added. To conclude, the vending machine doesn’t wish to encourage homelessness: it aims to eradicate it step by step.
VENDING USERS IN NOTTINGHAM
Khaled had more to say on the matter: “We could have not put a limit on how many items people could receive, and not built on a system of checks. All of our users in Nottingham have to check-in with the Friary once a week for their cards to continue working.”
The Guardian reports that he now hopes to expand throughout the country as quickly as possible, and place between 25 and 30 around the country before the end of the year. Beyond this, he is hoping to break into USA through New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle.
CHARITY VENDING MACHINES IN TRAIN STATIONS
Khaled is also in discussions with Network Rail to install the machines at train stations, which is often seen as a ‘hotspot’ for homeless people due to the long hours and well-lit environment.
He is set to start a full time job next month, with the money earned going towards a global rollout. We wish him the very best with his exciting new venture!
MORE VENDING MACHINE RESOURCES
As a 55 year old company, Coinadrink are specialists in quality vending machines. We are unlike other vending suppliers in that we aren’t tied down to any manufacturer, so we are in the best position to provide unbiased advice on what is best for your business. While this pledge for quality has been important for our longevity, it is the customer-centric approach and keen eye for innovation that ensures we always go one step further for the customer.
Get in touch with us today to see how we can get your business on the right track to a higher productivity level through our range of refreshment solutions.