What would you want from an Ypsilanti vending machine?

My friend Dave, having a pretty good sense of what might interest me, just sent me the following image from a local free weekly in Portland about a vending machine that, starting tomorrow, will be used to distribute vegan fare from an organization called Meals for Heels, a startup that initially launched to deliver food to the city’s community of sex workers.

I’m still trying to put all of the pieces together, but it sounds as though this specific machine, called the Pix-O-Matic, has, over the past several weeks, been used to distribute pieces of pie, crème brûlées, and macarons, along with an assortment of things like cans of tinned fish and rolls of toilet paper, on the street outside a Portland pastry shop by the name of Pix Pâtisserie. And, now, the owner of the machine is starting to use it as a pop-up to sell the the culinary work on area chefs, starting with Nikeisah Newton, the founder of Meals for Heels. For those of you within walking distance of 2225 East Burnside Street in Portland, here are the two dishes from Meals for Heels that will be available starting tomorrow.

GTP (GETTIN’ THAT PAPER) – Tom kha roasted cauliflower, sweet potato noodles, Asian pickled cucumbers, togarashi truffled tomatoes, mint, Thai basil, cilantro, Asian herb sweet saambal drizzle, toasted coconut & veggie furikake. $12

Freegan Vegan – Oven roasted yams, plantains sweet potatoes & apples, sautéed mushrooms, “green” brown rice, topped w/salsa lizano (no heat, hella savory) crispy quinoa, & sweet-n-salty spiced almonds, walnuts and toasted coconut. $12

I don’t know that anything like this would work in Michigan, given our laws surrounding the sale of food, but I like the idea a lot, and I’ve spent the past hour searching for vending machines, thinking about where we might put one in downtown Ypsi, and what we might put in it. If you have any thoughts, please leave a comment.

And, for those of you who would rather not talk about vending machine fare, the President of the United States took the time today — in the middle of a pandemic that’s already claimed the lives of 135,000 Americans — to pose for a photo surrounded by an assortment of packaged beans.

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30 Comments

  1. Posted July 15, 2020 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

    I would not put Goya beans in it.

  2. Wobblie
    Posted July 15, 2020 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

    Aloha The Leader is auditioning for his mew job as a Mexican specialty food corp. spokes person. First he was going to get them to pay for the wall and now he is their chief anglo salesman, and liberals thought Putin owned him. I think he is like a promotional blimp, for a price he’ll promote anything. Mexicans must be getting quit the hoot. MAGA

  3. Nobody
    Posted July 15, 2020 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

    There is an organization here in Seattle called FareStart. They have local chefs from high end restaurants cook in their kitchen with homeless people, who then get a chance to work in other restaurants after working at FareStart. It is a great program. If you eat at FareStart, you get a significantly reduced price for plates from expensive restaurants in town.

    Another interesting thing out here is the Little Free Library network. Homeowners put out a small box on a post and put free books in it. Take a book / leave a book. It has recently been modified into free pantries… leave some food or take some food. It is a really nice idea.

    I’ll have to look for the vending machines next time I am down in Portland. Sounds like a mash up of FareStart with the Little Library / Free Pantry concept. Very nice.

  4. iRobert
    Posted July 16, 2020 at 5:59 am | Permalink

    YPSIPANTIES!

  5. stupid hick
    Posted July 16, 2020 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    “Liberal Tears” (TM) rubbing alcohol

  6. iRobert
    Posted July 16, 2020 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    Face masks that say “HOAX!”

  7. Jean Henry
    Posted July 16, 2020 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    Vending machine to distribute food in the summer ounds like a very bad or a very expensive idea or both. Why???
    Just go to the restaurant. They are barely making it. Why ask food sellers to commit their labor and capital to do fundraisers? Just donate if you want to. Stop asking food sellers to give their stuff away.

    What is the point of the vending machine? Better to sell zines than food in it.

  8. Frosted Flakes
    Posted July 16, 2020 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    -“Fuck The Police” t-shirts and bumper stickers.
    -Anti fascist bricks
    -Revolutionary hammers
    -Uprising bleach-water bottles
    -Freedom spray paint
    -“Comey has a posse” stencils and stickers
    -factual information
    -moral strength and courage

  9. Anonymous
    Posted July 16, 2020 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    Did you read the post, Jean. The vending machine in question isn’t giving the food away. It’s selling the food, creating an opportunity for lesser-known, restaurant-less chefs to sell their food. As for summer being an issue, my guess is that it’s refrigerated.

  10. Eel
    Posted July 16, 2020 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    Antifa membership packets that come with bricks and matches.

  11. Hyborian Pudlord
    Posted July 16, 2020 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    Hollow point ammunition and freeze-dried meatloaf sammiches

  12. iRobert
    Posted July 16, 2020 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    How about Ypsipanties emblazoned with the “Fuck the Police” mantra?

  13. EOS
    Posted July 16, 2020 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    MAGA hats

  14. Patriot
    Posted July 16, 2020 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    Maps to the homes of Trump supporters.

  15. Frosted Flakes
    Posted July 16, 2020 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Maybe that was the sort of thing councilperson Morgan was advocating for? We might never know? Apparently he is the strong silent type.

    ( Who’s afraid of talking about racism?)

  16. iRobert
    Posted July 16, 2020 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    He may be advocating that we make love to the police, but has a limited vocabulary.

    I want a T-shirt that says “Fuck the Police” on the front and “…but only with consent and when they’re off-duty”

  17. iRobert
    Posted July 16, 2020 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    …on the back.

  18. Frosted Flakes
    Posted July 16, 2020 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    Me too

  19. Frosted Flakes
    Posted July 16, 2020 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Good one Eel! See guys. Liberals can be funny.

  20. iRobert
    Posted July 16, 2020 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    Maybe the vending machine should be filled with expensive, useless things.

    …politicians for example.

  21. Lynne
    Posted July 16, 2020 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    If I had a place for a vending machine, I might work with the owners of The Rocket or the Unicorn Supply place to stock things like stickers, cards, small toys, etc. Maybe even some candy.

  22. Lynne
    Posted July 16, 2020 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    I also like the idea of selling both Biden and Trump facemasks along with a daily count of how many have been sold! :)

  23. iRobert
    Posted July 16, 2020 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    I’d buy a Trump mask, Lynn, only because the irony is so great.

  24. Anonymous
    Posted July 16, 2020 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    Donald Trump: “Black beans matter.”

  25. Jean Henry
    Posted July 16, 2020 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    Yes anonymous,I read the post:
    “it sounds as though this specific machine, called the Pix-O-Matic, has, over the past several weeks, been used to distribute pieces of pie, crème brûlées, and macarons, along with an assortment of things like cans of tinned fish and rolls of toilet paper, on the street outside a Portland pastry shop by the name of Pix Pâtisserie. ”

    Does not say it sells things for purchase elsewhere or that it’s some kind of marketing campaign. .

    As for refrigeration the standards for refrigeration required for food like that described is a lot more complicated than most vending machines, even refrigerated ones, offer.

    And again the question is why.

    If you want to sell things from a vending machine, outdoors where it will surely be robbed, I would suggest non-perishables. But I think the idea is twee and dumb. Very Portlandia.

  26. Jean Henry
    Posted July 16, 2020 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    Wheels for Heels on the other hand, sounds awesome. One of my staff ran a fundraiser out of my place for his top surgery called the “Build a Better Boy Project.” When he asked how to go about it, I said put up a sign and be charming and milk that liberal guilt. It asked nothing of our business and paid for the surgery. It also gave TG people some visibility back when there wasn’t;t much of that around.

    I think it would be really cool to start a sex worker NP here if there isn’t one already. Who cares about vending machines? Why do we make raising money and helping people more complicated than it needs to be? I have a lot of issues with NP fundraising efforts and who they cater to and who they take from. Hint: they usually serve donors at lest as much as clients. They ask a lot of small businesses.

  27. Demetrius
    Posted July 16, 2020 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    If possible, I think your vending machine should be able to dispense a sense of perspective – and humor.

    As a side note, you may also want to consider installing one in Whitmore Lake.

  28. Jean Henry
    Posted July 16, 2020 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

    Anonymous– Most food is sold at a 5-10% profit margin, so any food sold as a fundraiser is not producing any revenue for the maker

  29. diane
    Posted July 18, 2020 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    bottled water in the summer, hats n gloves in the winter

  30. Aaron Seagraves
    Posted July 21, 2020 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    I have a cig machine 2 donate to any of the above ideas.

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