Paying Fines with Food at Nashville Public Library
GRAPHIC: Patrons with fines for overdue library books at the Nashville Public Library can reduce the amount owned by $1 for each canned or packaged food item donated through January 20th. Courtesy of Nashville Public Library.
January 8, 2013
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - You haul 25 tons and what do you get? Food for the hungry and reduction in debt.
The Nashville Public Library has kicked off its annual Food for Fines program. Spokeswoman Renuka Christoph says those patrons who have fines for overdue library books can pay them off by donating foods.
"For each canned good that is brought in, one dollar will be waived from fines that have been accumulated. And we especially want protein, so peanut butter, canned chicken would really be ideal."
Other items needed most include tuna, canned fruits and vegetables, soups, cereal, and pasta. Food for Fines runs through January 20 at all Nashville Public Library branches. Those without any fines are also encouraged to give.
The program brought in 25 tons of food last year. Christoph says they hope to get at least that much again this time.
"We would like to exceed that goal of 50,000 pounds, and we're working with Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee, which is where all of our food donations will go."
Christoph says that in the aftermath of the Great Recession, the need remains great and this program will help many families put food on the table.
"It'll help us provide about 40,000 meals to the hungry people in our community. We're doing this to help those in need and get them necessary food items."
No open packages or glass containers will be accepted.
In all of Middle Tennessee, it's estimated that there are nearly 400,000 people who don't know where their next meal is coming from.
More information is at library.nashville.org and at secondharvestmidtn.org.