A dispensing apparatus for dispensing discrete elements from a container defining a storage space containing the elements into a transport apparatus for transporting the elements to a discharge location. The dispensing apparatus defines a recess opening generally horizontally to the storage space at a lower portion thereof. The elements are guided into the recess which preferably has a height substantially equal to the greatest transverse dimension of the elements. A transferring structure is provided to be disposable selectively subjacent the recess for receiving the elements from the recess and transferring the received elements to a discharge position. In one embodiment, the apparatus dispenses ice bodies into an air-operated transport system. An agitator for agitating the elements in the storage space may be utilized to effect the desired guiding of the elements into the recess. The recess may be defined by a shelf projecting under the main body of elements in the storage space whereby only a small number of the elements are received in the recess free of downward pressure from the elements in the upper portion of the storage space.