© iStock.com/Manuta Indiana Vending Machine Dispenses Clean Clothing and Blankets to People Without Homes By Michele Debczak ,...
By Michele Debczak, Mental Floss
A new vending machine in Muncie, Indiana isn't stocked with sodas and junk food. It dispenses winter basics like warm clothing, socks, and blankets, and instead of charging cash, it gives away items for free to community members who need them most, RTV6 reports.
The resource was set up outside the local fire department to service the up to 200 people without permanent homes in Delaware County, Indiana. To take advantage of it, people in need first have to register with the charity organization Bridges Community Services. There they are given free tokens that can be used to access the vending machine.
Muncie, Indiana isn't the first place to open a free vending machine for its underprivileged residents. The organization Action Hunger installed its first machine—stocked with food, socks, and toiletries—in Nottingham, England earlier this year. Like the machine in Indiana, the resource allows people without homes to collect necessities discreetly no matter the time of day.
Every item currently in the Indiana vending machine was donated by a member of the community, and Bridges Community Services is still accepting donations.