Vending machines to offer free items to NYC's homeless people

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But how do you make money on this?

I was told the free market would solve all our problems.


The problem with the free market is, it often comes up with solutions you would never choose, yourself. What the free market really needs is somebody like me in charge.



A strong hand on the wheel will steer us to freedom!


Instead of boing boing worthy cutesy “solutions” why not actually attack the problem of homelessness.
This seems more “look at how cool and forward thinking we are (with the obligatory social justice whistle words like agency”) or a grant application project and less of an actual solution.
Just the fact that anyone in the USA is lacking basics like food, sanitary supplies or shelter is a tragedy and while this idea is social media share worthy ( but doomed to fail when the machine is cracked open or the owners stop stocking it) its only putting a bandaid on a terminal wound



It looks like Action Hungers aim is to work with these (and other) charities, not against them


I wonder how they decided on three? I would get it if it were just meals, but it sounds like there’s lots of other important things, and also like water and food are separate. Can you save your three per day up even a little? Some days you might need socks, tampons, and more than one food item, other days those might be covered from other sources, I would think.


And we’re one step closer to Neal Stephenson’s Diamond Age.


Because it’s draining resources from the main fight (actually ending homelessness) while giving people the feeling progress has been made. Let’s face it unless there is one of these on every street corner it’s only going to serve a select group and leave those not lucky enough to be a part out
A better way to “work with not against” other charities would be not draining funds from them with a limited use feel good farce.
A better use of funds would be to food pantries and shelters


Of course you are right. It’s better that nothing bfore dine for any of society’s weakest members until your perfect solution is in place


Because the people looking to fix the problem aren’t the people with the resources to fix the problem at scale. I was involved in the early stages of a similar idea (vending machine for baby supplies) about a year ago. Every person involved in our project knew that a better use of resources would have been a restructuring of the American healthcare and human resource systems, but that wasn’t achievable. What was much more in range was raising enough funds to put some supplies in a vending machine.


Or instead of waiting those funds on your pet project put that money into something with a proven benefit. The main problem I have with these ideas it’s people trying to reinvent the wheel when the car isn’t even running

Which works unless part of the problem you are addressing is glaring holes in the current delivery system. One of the problems with the current food bank system is that it can result in bottlenecks which require huge amounts of time. Something like this will never be a replacement for a good food bank, which itself is no replacement for equitable access to food and shelter for all, but it does more than complaining and hand wringing.


A hack Dem mayor has done what Koch, Giuliani and Bloomberg all failed to do: Make NYC great again.

Do little free libraries work well in big cities or do they get trashed right away? Hell, they get trashed in small towns but we just keep rebuilding & restocking them.

Possibly something of interest, from Action Hunger’s website:


Professor Stephen Hawking CBE

Here in Minneapolis, I’m aware that some individuals have put out permanent receptacles, sort of like the Little Free Libraries, but with food and sanitary items for people to take if they have need—as far as I know, anyone can put in such items, and anyone can take out items. Sorry to say that I can’t tell you how that’s going, though.

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I was homeless not too long ago. I now help get people off of the streets. This vending machine is great. Your issues are overblown and lacking experiential context.