via Mike Wright of The Telegraph.Co.UK
“People attend (charities such as the Friary) but it can be weeks apart or months, few attend on a weekly basis, which we hope the cards will help.”
The vending machine’s stock is donated by local companies and charities. The food largely comes from the charity FareShare, which redistributes surplus produce heading to landfill from supermarkets.
Other partners have came on board, including Google, which is using its AI 'Brain' project to help analyse data from the cards to build up a picture of how the vending machine is being used and then inform what it stocks in the future.
The machine currently vends water and food such as energy bars and fruit alongside snacks like crisps and sausage rolls. It also provides sanitary products like tampons as well as warm clothing and foil blankets.
The machine is currently replenished by volunteers, but the charity has recently struck a deal with Uber Eats to help keep it stocked.