For the next two weeks, Tacoma library patrons can erase their overdue fines by donating food.
The food for fines program began today at Tacoma libraries. For every three non-perishable items a library patron donates, the library will forgive $10 in fines. There is no limit to the total amount that can be waived, but donations cannot be used to pay for lost or damaged items.
Helen McGovern, executive director of the Emergency Food Network, said in a release that the No. 1 item food banks need is peanut butter followed by canned protein items (such as tuna fish, chili, canned beef and chicken, and stew), canned fruits and vegetables, baby food, baby formula and diapers.
Library officials note that they are unable to accept rusty or unlabeled cans, perishable items (fruits, vegetables and raw meat), alcoholic beverages or mixes, opened or used items, home-canned and homemade items, and items within 30 days of their expiration date.
Each library branch will donate the food to a nearby food bank, ensuring that the donations stay within the neighborhood.
The offer ends March 2. More information is available at www.tacomapubliclibrary.org, or by calling the library at (253)292-2001.