By Dawn Pearson
The popular Food for Fines program has returned for the month of February at the Hussey-Mayfield Memorial Public Library.
“Our customers can erase their overdue fines and benefit local families that may be hungry and in need,” said Virginia Hilbert, circulation department head of the library. “During the month of February, each non-perishable food item donated at one of our circulation desks can be used to erase $1 in overdue fines owed to us.”
All donations will benefit the Zionsville Food Pantry at Zionsville Presbyterian Church. Last year, the program led to an estimated 200 bags of donations for the food pantry. Donations have increased each year since the program began in 1997.
“The generosity of Zionsville residents is demonstrated each year, and mounds of food and other items are donated for the needy,” Hilbert said. “We normally have a delivery every Friday for the pantry of at least a dozen medium-sized boxes of food and a at least eight bags of groceries. It’s a lot of food.”
According to statistics provided by the library, more than 600 families seek assistance from the food pantry annually, and Zionsville residents play a key role in providing some of the thousands of bags of food used to fill that need.
With numerous food drives occurring in the fall and spring, pantry shelves can become bare during February when donations drop off.
“Pantry volunteers must plan ahead for the Spring Break holiday when requests for assistance increase from families who normally receive some meals at school,” Hilbert said. “Food for Fines helps fill the shelves for this time of need.”
Only overdue fines owed to Hussey-Mayfield Memorial Public Library can be erased through the Food for Fines program. Lost, damaged and collection fees are not eligible. Fines owed to other Evergreen libraries cannot be paid with food donations. Expired food, sample sizes or items in glass containers will not be accepted.
Needed items include:
- Canned meats
- Boxed dinner mixes
- Canned meals
- Peanut butter
- Rice mixes
- Fruit juices
- Baking supplies