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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

Food for Fines sees successful turnout

Rather than directly paying for library fines, students had the opportunity to trade in non-perishable food items to waive the cost and help restock the 12th Can Food Pantry as part of the annual Food for Fines program. Library associate and Food for Fines coordinator Tonya Carter said the library collected over 1,000 items this year compared to over 700 items last year.
While this was the second year for A&M University Libraries to partake in the program, Food for Fines is common across the country. Some areas have even let the program migrate out of the library to cover parking tickets. Carter said she first heard about the program at a national library conference.
“I like everything about the program, opportunity to give back to community and give our patrons a break on library fines — a win-win situation for everyone involved,” Carter said.
The program was open to anyone to participate, not just the students who had fines.
“The Food for Fines program was open to all our patrons — students, staff, faculty, community and courtesy user — anyone that had a fine,” Carter said. “The Food for Fines program excludes replacement fees for lost or damaged items and billed items.”
Derek McKee, co-chair of the 12th Can Food Pantry said Food for Fines really helps the pantry.
“It really does help, pretty much any donation that we receive is very helpful for our operations because we can distribute more food to more people,” McKee said. “We purchase our products from Brazos Valley Food Bank most of the time, but if we’re able to receive donations of any amount, that helps out a lot financially.”
A number of different items were accepted.
“We accepted peanut butter — plastic jars only, canned fruits, vegetables, sardines, chicken, tuna or soups; cereal and pasta,” Carter said. “This year we got more Ramen Noodles, [they were] very popular.
With the success of the past two years, Carter said the program will return in the future.

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