MENDOTA - For 10 years, local food pantries have gained when library patrons pay their fines with food donations rather than cash during “Food for Fines.” This year’s two-week Food for Fines event will take place at participating libraries Nov. 11-23.
Since the program started, library patrons have donated nearly 3,000 items during the two-week event, the equivalent of $2,791. The collected food helps restock food pantry shelves, which is especially welcome during the November and December holidays.
Library patrons can erase their library fines by giving food donations as payment. Each donated item wipes out $1 in fines.
People without any overdue fines are also invited to bring their donations to a participating library and the library will deliver them. Because of food safety, food must be in its original packaging; damaged packages, expired food, or glass containers will not be accepted.
Suggested food items include canned fruits and vegetables, soups, cereals, pasta mixes and canned meats. Please bring food items to the library’s circulation desk; do not place food in book drops. Donated food will not be accepted for lost or damaged books, replacement of library cards or interlibrary loan fees.
Participating libraries include Graves-Hume (Mendota), Peru, LaSalle, Richard A. Mautino (Spring Valley), Putnam County (Granville), Princeton, Oglesby, and Jacobs Library (IVCC).
For more information, please call your local library. In Mendota, contact Emily Kofoid, library director, at (815) 538-5142.