Tacoma Public Library: Donate food, pay down fines

The Tacoma Public Library hopes to fill the cupboards at local food banks this month by offering library patrons who have incurred overdue fines to pay off those debts by donating non-perishable food items.

The ‘Food For Fines’ food drive begins today at all eight library locations and continues through March 2. According to library officials, 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. All food items donated will be delivered to a neighborhood food bank.

“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.

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. 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, and food donations are welcome even if a patron has no fines,” added Kristoff.

More information is available online here.