January 16, 2014 —
Have some overdue book fines you’d like to wipe clean in 2014? Take advantage of the Library’s Food For Fines offer during library hours between Sunday, Jan. 26, and Saturday, Feb. 1.
It’s a “fine amnesty week” that benefits two ways.
For each item of non-perishable food you donate at one of the Springfield-Greene County Library District branches or Mobile Library, the library will deduct 50 cents from your overdue fine balance. There’s no limit to how much you can pay down, but the offer applies only to overdue items, not fines for lost or damaged items.
With the help of Boy Scout Troop 120 out of Willard, all of the donations will be delivered to Ozarks Food Harvest, the Feeding America food bank for southwest Missouri. It serves 250 hunger relief organizations across 28 Ozarks counties. The Food Bank reaches about 80,000 individuals monthly and distributes 12 million pounds of food annually.
In return, you can whittle away small or large overdue fine balances from your own or a family member’s library card account. That can help restore your ability to enjoy library books, movies and music again -- library card holders can’t borrow items, use public computers or access library research sites when their overdue fines reach $10.
Just bag up your food donations and take them to the check-out desk of any branch library or the bookmobile from Jan. 26 through Feb. 1.
The food bank needs canned or boxed meats, canned fruits and vegetables, soups and stews, peanut butter, cereal and macaroni and cheese. No glass, please. Donations of personal hygiene items are also welcome.
Since 2010, patrons donated almost 32,000 pounds of food during Food For Fines. In exchange each year, the library has waived an average of $3,900 in fines it normally would have collected.
One person watching his budget may not be able to donate enough food to make a difference, but one person’s contribution added to many others has made a huge difference – 32,000 pounds in four years.
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