The Library Springfield-Greene County Library District Springfield, Missouri

Community Support Makes Food For Fines a Success

Thank you, Springfield-Greene County residents, for making the third Food For Fines campaign the biggest yet.

You donated 9,901 pounds of non-perishable food for Ozarks Food Harvest during the Jan. 22-28 campaign. That’s nearly 5 tons of food, which will provide more than 7,616 meals for Ozarks residents served by the food bank. (The final total passed the earlier reported figure of 9,628 pounds due to some late-arriving food shipments.)

The Library waived 50 cents in overdue fines for each item of non-perishable food donated at the 10 branches and Mobile Library. By week’s end, the Library waived $5,141.69 of overdue fines.

The stories from the branches were touching. Many people donated more food than their fines totaled. A couple from the Missouri Hotel donated food at the Midtown Carnegie Branch, and they didn’t even have fines. At the Library Station, $127 of the $1,500 in waived fines came from staff and patrons who didn’t owe fines but donated food to help families who did.

“I think it is really great that the Library District and our patrons have worked together again on the third Food For Fines promotion,” said Executive Director Regina Cooper. “This campaign not only helps our neighbors in need, but it gives an opportunity for our patrons to make a donation to a community charity when perhaps they wouldn't be able to write a check or send money to the Ozarks Food Harvest. And as an added bonus, they are able to have their library fines waived. It's a win-win for all concerned.”

This year’s collection topped the 8,357 pounds of food and $3,437 in waived fines.

“It’s hard to describe how excited we were after weighing this year’s donated food,” said Denise Gibson, director of development at Ozarks Food Harvest. “More than four tons of food is a significant food drive for us, and especially at a time when food donations are down because we’re coming out of the holiday season. We couldn’t be happier to partner with the Library over the last few years. Food for Fines has really become such a unique food drive for us.”
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We’re cooking at the Library Center at 7 p.m. Monday. Chef HJ Schumer returns with “The Perfect Romantic Dinner Anyone Can Make.” Registration: 882-0714.

Kathleen O'Dell is community relations director for the Springfield-Greene County Library District. She can be reached at

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