The Library hosts “Food for Fines” for OFH

January 11, 2010

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.— Here’s a way to whittle down those library overdue fines while you help stamp out hunger in the Ozarks. The Springfield-Greene County Library District has partnered with Ozarks Food Harvest – The Food Bank, to let kids, teens and adults pay off their overdue fines for one week in January in exchange for donations of non-perishable food to the region’s food bank.

“Food For Fines” week is planned during library business hours from January 24 through January 30, 2010 at any Springfield-Greene County Library branch.

During that week, library patrons will receive a 50-cent credit on their existing library fine balance for each item of non-perishable food in undamaged and unexpired boxes or cans they donate at the library. Items may include canned meat, peanut butter, canned fruit, canned vegetables, and boxed meals. Non-nutritional beverages such as soda, and beverages in glass or plastic containers will not be accepted.

Just bring non-perishable items to the checkout desk of any of the district’s 10 branch libraries or bookmobile during regular business hours. A librarian will apply the credit to your account, then drop the food in the bins nearby.

There’s no dollar limit on Food For Fines, but only fines for overdue materials are eligible — not lost or damaged items. Patrons may also donate food to pay off a friend or family member’s overdue fine balance.

All food will be donated to Ozarks Food Harvest to restock their shelves after the holidays, when food supplies traditionally are low.

“We’re very excited to partner with the Library for its first-ever Food for Fines food drive,” said Lindsey Neddenriep, public relations coordinator at Ozarks Food Harvest.

“This collaborative effort will allow patrons to pay off fines in the New Year as well as help The Food Bank restock our warehouse following the busy holiday season when we see a major decline in food donations,” Neddenriep said. “The need is greater than ever — our member agencies are still seeing up to 50 percent increases in requests for emergency food assistance.”

The library district was eager to join the community effort, said Jim Schmidt,  library’s associate director of public services. “Food for Fines is a partnership that will be sustained by the generosity of the library’s customers and the expertise of Ozarks Food Harvest. Library staff anticipate a great event and are extremely happy and proud to participate.”

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About Ozarks Food Harvest—The Food Bank
Ozarks Food Harvest is the only food bank in southwest Missouri and serves more than 350 hunger relief organizations, reaching more than 55,000 people each month in 29 Ozarks counties. The Food Bank distributed seven million pounds of food during its last fiscal year — the highest distribution in its 25-year history — made possible due to its network of charities and direct-relief programs such as the Weekend Backpack Program™, Kids Cafe® and the Mobile Food Pantry™ program. Learn more at