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Spanish Fork Library To Pay Fines With Food

Hunger and library fines are two things that no one likes. In an effort to get rid of both, the Spanish Fork Library has continued its “Food for Fines” program. The program allows patrons of the library to bring in cans of non-perishable food and exchange them for forgiveness on late fees. According to Pam Jackson, the Director of the Library, the cans of food will be donated to a local food pantry.

“We try to work with our local food bank. Right now, it’s Tabitha’s Way. We’ve worked with them for several years,” she said. “We collect overdue fines by using food. So, if people bring in one can of food, we’ll wave one dollar off overdues on their account to a total of $10.”

The contributions can only be counted toward overdue fines, not lost or damaged library materials. Jackson said the response from the local community has always been positive, and the library usually receives enough food to donate a large amount to pantries.

“People are very receptive to it. They like the idea of doing that. It saves them a little bit and it makes them feel good that they’ve contributed as well,” Jackson said. “They’ve come to collect at least six full barrels of food. We do expect that to continue to increase. We usually average around a dozen or so barrels.”

Tabitha’s Way Food Bank serves more than 1,500 people per month, mainly in southern Utah County. The Food for Fines program ends on Nov. 26.