Library swaps “Food for Fines” for Ozarks Food Harvest
SPRINGFIELD, Mo.— Starting Sunday, Jan. 22, all ten Springfield–Greene County Libraries and the mobile library will accept non-perishable food as payment for overdue book fines during regular business hours for one week.
Two canned or boxed food donations will erase one dollar of fines, 10 donations will remove a $5 fine and 20 donations will remove a $10 fine. The Library says there’s no limit on the amount of food that can be donated, but donations cannot be applied to fees for lost or damaged materials.
“Food for Fines gives the Library District a fun way to partner with Ozarks Food Harvest and double the benefits — Library patrons get a break on their library fines, and their food donations help feed thousands of their hungry neighbors across the Ozarks,” said Library District spokeswoman Kathleen O’Dell.
The Library and Ozarks Food Harvest initiated “Food for Fines” in 2010, collecting 6,261 pounds during the inaugural drive. Last year, more than four tons of food — 8,357 pounds — was raised, for a grand total of 14,618 pounds, or 11,245 meals.
Ozarks Food Harvest says the upcoming colder weather will be harder on their clients who must choose between paying utility bills and buying food, so this drive comes at an ideal time — after the holiday food drives have ended. Requested donations include canned meats, boxed and canned meals, peanut butter, canned vegetables and fruit, cereal and hygiene items. Glass is not an acceptable food drive donation.
The program runs through Saturday, Jan. 28, and all donations will be weighed at The Food Bank on the afternoon of Tuesday, Jan. 31.
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About Ozarks Food Harvest—The Food Bank
Ozarks Food Harvest is the Feeding America food bank for southwest Missouri, serving more than 300 hunger relief organizations across 28 Ozarks counties. The Food Bank reaches approximately 80,000 individuals monthly and distributes 12 million pounds of food annually. OFH was named the 2011 Small Business of the Year by the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce. Visit the O’Reilly Center for Hunger Relief at 2810 N. Cedarbrook Ave. in North Springfield. Learn more at ozarksfoodharvest.org and at facebook.com/ozarksfoodharvest.