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Vending machines filled with fresh fruits and vegetables will soon be coming to underserved neighborhoods in Des Moines. Robotic Retail was awarded $30,000 to make this concept a reality at the city’s Ignite Community Innovation Challenge.
Robotic Retail is a partnership between Eat Greater Des Moines and Oasis24seven, a company that builds and sells vending machine-style robotic stores. Its plan is to place the machines, which accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, as well as other payment methods, to distribute fresh produce at reasonable prices in areas of Des Moines identified as food deserts.