Library Director Debra Rhodes Gibson reported to Historic City News that the St. Johns County Public Library System is bringing back a program this holiday season to help stock the shelves of a local food pantry.
The 2nd Annual “Food for Fines” program will begin Monday, November 16, and continue through Saturday, December 18, 2009. Food for Fines will permit patrons to bring one sealed, non-expired, non-perishable food item to the library in exchange for each $1 in overdue fines. Last year, nearly 8,000 food items were collected.
All food collected during Food for Fines will be given to the St. Johns County Food Bank for local distribution to those in need. While Food for Fines is a great way for overdue offenders to balance their accounts, the food drive is not limited. The general public is also encouraged to drop off non-perishable food contributions at any library branch through December 18th.
Rhodes is looking forward to this innovative program and has high hopes for its success. “Food for Fines is a wonderful opportunity for patrons to balance their accounts while also providing food to those in our community who are struggling,” she said. “The program was a huge success last year, and we hope it will be even better this year. We are really encouraging the community to partner with us to make this a successful food drive.”
The Food for Fines waiver is for library fines only and may not be applied to fees for printing or lost items, nor may it be used as credit against future fines.
For more information about Food for Fines or to find a branch library, call Library Administration at (904) 827-6925 or visit www.sjcpls.org.