Pay off debt with food? Yep, at Tacoma Public Library

Now is a hard time for local food banks, the holidays are over, but the need remains. The Tacoma Public Library is working with local area food banks to help the food bank and help you. If you have a library fine for overdue books, bring in canned or boxed food to your local library as a way of ‘paying off’ the fines. This is great for me as I am sure I have some fines on my record, so to speak. Symptoms of a too busy life. Below is an excerpt from the Tacoma Public Library website.

Restock local food banks. Reduce your library fines. All without raiding your wallet.

The availability of food items at local food banks are traditionally at an all-time low after the December holidays, but the Tacoma Public Library is hoping to change that through a new program where library patrons can help feed the hungry while eliminating overdue fines. Beginning on February 19 Tacoma’s libraries will hold a community food drive at all 8 locations. It’s a food drive with a twist, however: for every three non-perishables items a patron donates, the library will reduce their overdue fines by $10, without a limit to the total amount waived.  The ‘Food For Fines’ food drive continues through March 2. All food items donated will be delivered to a neighborhood food bank.  More information is available by telephoning the library at 253.292.2001.

“We hope that this program will encourage people to return overdue items and clear their library records, while having the opportunity to donate food to help people in their community rather than just pay fees.” explained librarian Rhonda Kristoff, coordinator of the two-week program.

Each library branch is working with a nearby food bank to ensure donations stay in the neighborhood.  There is no limit to the number of food items the library will accept, nor to the size of the overdue fines the library will forgive.

The library is unable to accept rusty or unlabeled cans, perishable items (fruits, vegetables and raw meat), alcoholic beverages or mixes, opened or used items, home-canned and home­made items, and items within 30 days of their expiration date. “Food for Fines” donations can only be applied to overdue fines. Donations cannot be used to pay for lost or damaged items. “There’s no limit to how much food a patron can donate,” says Kristoff, “and food donations are welcome even if a patron has no fines.”

via Tacoma Public Library – Food For Fines.