Something we thought would never happen is happening — a vending machine just might be solving the world’s affordable food crisis. Yes, a vending machine. But forget the Cheese-Nips-and-Oreos-stocked mecca of your munchies fantasies. These machines are packed with wholesome staples like lentils, beans, rice and chickpeas.

algramo 2

Here’s a shocking fact: 63% of people in the world live on $4 a day. In Latin America, that percentage is even higher at 73%. Lots of those who fall into this category live in communities that are too small to support a large grocery store. Smaller grocers can’t buy the same quantities that larger ones can. Because of that, they end up paying 40% more for the same goods. Do you see the problem here? The creators of Algramo do, and they came up with a viable solution — vending machines that make healthy foods available on a budget.

These vending machines are the bomb for lots of reasons. Firstly, they allow the customer to buy food based on weight. Secondly, the first time you use the machine, it will dispense a reusable container. You can use that container every time you go to the machine and collect your food for the week. So besides allowing people to buy staples, like rice and beans, in bulk and at a fair price, it cuts down on the amount of waste you would find at a traditional grocery store.

algramo 1

In 2012, Santiago-based Algramo launched in the community of Huechuraba. The company plans to expand to neighboring cities and countries, and hope to expand their offerings to liquids such as cooking oil as well.

Know of any other innovators working to relieve the food crisis? Educate us in the comments below!

(h/t PSFK)