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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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June 8, 2024

TAMU libraries host fourth annual Food for Fines

 

 

The well-known idea of Aggies helping Aggies comes to life in the TAMU Libraries’ Food for Fines Program. students can reduce their library fines by donating non-perishable food items to the 12th Can food pantry.
In its fourth year as a program, Food for Fines encouraged students to give back to the community while at the same time decreasing their fines. For every non-perishable food item brought to the library, one dollar will be taken off of the student’s bill. The food is then donated to 12th Can, a student-run food pantry serving all food insecure students, faculty, and staff. The Food for Fines program can be applied to all late fines except for replacement fees of lost or damaged items.
The program was started in 2014 by Tonya Carver, Food for Fines coordinator.
“A couple of years ago, back in 2013, there is a big annual conference called the American Library Association and I was fortunate to get to go that year,” Carver said. “In one of the sessions I went to, they talked about Food for Fines. I thought ‘That’s a pretty good idea to do for the TAMU Libraries.’ It’s just like aggies helping aggies.”
The idea was simple — students would bring in food items and their fines would be reduced, while at the same time, giving back to the community. Last year’s program brought in a record number of donations and Carver hopes to top that number in this year’s program.
“At the end of last year we had over 1,100 pounds of food, of that 146 pounds was ramen noodles,” Carver said.
The Food for Fines 2017 program began on Feb. 13 and ended on Feb. 27. Dean Carlson, Dean of University Libraries, said the duration behind the program was to help preserve its success.
“We wanted to give it emphasis and make it a focus,” Carlson said. “If you make it an everyday thing, then it’s an everyday thing.”
Students are able to bring their donations to any library. Donations are then taken to the 12th Can Food Pantry. Since the opening of 12th Can in November of 2013, approximately 70,000 pounds of food have been distributed. Since the beginning of 2017, 124 households have already been served.
“Our facility is on Agronomy Road, over by the Vet School, in the Mail Services building,” Allison Thomas, English senior and Assistant Director of 12th Can, said. “It is a client choice pantry, so they just walk through the pantry and pick out whatever they want.”
The 12th Can works with other organizations through food drives and fundraisers. For Thomas and many other students, the food pantry allows them the chance to do something to directly change the lives of those in the community.
“That is what the 12th Can means to me. It means serving people because compassion calls us to,” Thomas said

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