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

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

The Battalion

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Students offered option to pay off fines with canned goods

Photo by Photo by Annie Lui

The Food for Fines program allows students to pay overdue book fees off by donating canned goods at any A&M library campus during the month of February.

Students can give back to the Aggie community and pay off their overdue library fines all at the same time.
Texas A&M’s University Libraries and The 12th Can food pantry are teaming up for their fifth annual Food for Fines can drive. From Feb. 7-28, the program will allow students to pay off their debts to the library with non-perishable food donations.
The 12th Can Food Pantry is a student-run food pantry located at A&M that serves all students, faculty and staff in need of assistance. Their goal is to eliminate hunger at A&M, bring awareness to food insecurity in college communities and show others the power of the Aggie spirit. Since opening in 2013, they have served over 30,000 pounds of food.
Tonya Carter, University Libraries Food for Fines coordinator, said the food drive makes a considerable difference in the area.
“We provide food for the community and for our students through The 12th Can Pantry,” Carter said. “We’ve collected over 3,200 pounds of food total and over 400 pounds a year. It makes us feel good because it brings such a positive impact.”
Packaged, non-perishable foods are being accepted at the help desks for each library on campus, including tomato soup, ramen-noodles and chicken broth. For each full-sized donation of 10 oz. or more, one dollar will be credited toward a student’s fine on their University Libraries account, with a $50 maximum. No glass containers will be accepted and food cannot be repackaged, opened or expired.
The Food for Fines campaign was established in 2013 as a five day event, and has since expanded to include most of the month of February.
“We have a huge conference every summer for the American Library Association, and I learned about fundraising within our own organizations,” Carter said. “It really got me thinking, so I pitched it to my boss, and he took it to his boss and it just took off from there.”
Carter said she can not believe how much the campaign has grown since it first began.
“The first year we did it was just five days, the next was seven days, then 14 days and now we’re doing it for a month,” Carter said. “The one thing I’d really like to see it do is expand to where it’s more than just once a year.”
Jacob Owen, electrical engineering graduate student, is participating in the program for a second time this year.
“Overall it’s just nice to see everyone come together — from the library, to the university, to the community,” Owen said. “It’s Aggies helping Aggies. That’s what it’s all about.”
Myesha Devrow, library specialist at West Campus Library, said she has been working for the university since 2014 and enjoys seeing the success of the campaign each year.
“My favorite part about the program is seeing how much all the cans come together, especially when February ends and we see the totals of all the cans collected,” Devrow said.
Once the donations are collected, they will be shipped to The 12th Can Food Pantry, where they will be used to help residents in need, according to Morgan Payton, assistant director of The 12th Can.
“Through our fellow Aggies paying off overdue books by donating food, we will be able to feed the 100 clients that use our pantry every opening,” Payton said.

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