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Wednesday, 20 December 2017

'World's first' vending machine for the homeless unveiled by Action Hunger

Written by Josh Payne

A charity has unveiled what it claims is the world's first vending machine for the homeless.

Action Hunger installed the device in the Broadmarsh Centre in Nottingham to provide food, socks and toothbrushes, among other essentials, to people sleeping rough at Christmas.

The machines can only be accessed with a key card and will be "permitted to those in need".

Although the charity accepts it will not take people off the streets, it believes it will help homeless people in their time of need.

The machine is currently unique to Nottingham, but there are plans for over 100 more for cities such as Manchester and London.

Lee Crowden, 43, who has been homeless for three and a half months said: "It will give you a service in the middle of the night or the early hours of the morning.

"It's a good idea, it's one of the best things to happen in this city.

"People only get access to the card two weeks at a time so it's not like they are going to get free access to the card."

One of the trustees of Action Hunger, Halimah Gulzar Khaled, said: "This now means homeless people have access to food 24 hours a day.

"If they are hungry or needing a pair of socks or feeling cold, there's a place there that they can go to.

"It's not going to take people off the streets because it's only giving food or small items three times a day, but it will help them while they are going through this phase of their life.

"That's why it is limited to three items a day, because it is just for their needs."

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2017, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Aaron Chown / PA Wire.