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During the last week of January, the Springfield-Greene County Library District will team up with Ozarks Food Harvest for the 3rdannual “Food for Fines” fine amnesty week. Those who still need to pay library fines can donate non-perishable food items instead. KSMU’s Samuel Crowe has the details.
Library patrons with fines can knock off 50 cents of that fine with each non-perishable food item donated during the fine amnesty week. Last year, more than 4 tons of non-perishable food items were donated, and with these donations Ozarks Food Harvest was able to provide more than 6,000 meals to hungry families in the area. The library district forgave more than $3,400 in fines.
Kathleen O’Dell of the Springfield-Greene Country Library District says forgiving such a large amount of money is worth feeding families in need, and hopes to bring in more this year.
“Over $3,000 is still a chunk of a budget for the library, but we feel like it’s for the greater good that we are helping people donate food to Ozarks Food Harvest. We hate to write off money, but it would be wonderful for the hungry people of the Ozarks if we did collect a whole lot more than we did last year,” said O’Dell.
O’Dell says that over 87,000 people currently have some sort of outstanding fine with the library district. She notes that the donations do not count toward fines related to lost or damaged items.
Non-perishable goods can be donated at any of the 10 library branches in the area, plus the mobile library. For KSMU News, I’m Samuel Crowe.