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Food for Fines program to kick off

SPRING VALLEY — The Richard A. Mautino Memorial Public Library is among several area libraries participating in the fourth annual Food for Fines amnesty program that will benefit local food panties.

From Nov. 11 to Nov. 23, the library will accept canned or boxed non-perishable food donations for payment of overdue fines. Each donated food item pays $1 in library fines. Patrons can bring up to 25 food items to pay off $25 worth of overdue fees.

Library director Barbara White said the program is beneficial in many ways for the community.

“It gives our patrons an opportunity to take care of their fines at the library, and at the same time patrons can help someone else in need in the community with food,” she said.

All food items collected at the library in Spring Valley will be delivered to Project Success of Eastern Bureau County’s Hall Township Food Pantry.

“The program is nice to get area libraries working together for a common cause,” White said.

Other libraries taking part in the Food for Fines program include Graves-Hume Public Library of Mendota, LaSalle Public Library, Oglesby Public Library, Peru Public Library and Putnam County Public Library.

Patrons who don’t have overdue fees, but wish to donate non-perishable food are welcome to do so. Patrons are asked to bring food donations to the circulation desk.

“I would like to see most of our patrons with fines take advantage of this program, but realistically the number taking advantage of the program will probably be much lower,” White said. “However, whatever amount of food that is collected here at the library, it will definitely benefit someone.”

Donated food is not accepted for lost or damaged books, replacement of cards or interlibrary loan fees. Because of food safety concerns, the pantries request items be in their original packaging. Damaged packages, outdated food or glass containers are not acceptable.

Suggested food items include canned vegetables, fruit, soups, boxed stuffing mix, cereals, pasta mixes and canned meats.

For questions or more information, contact the Richard A. Mautino Memorial Public Library at 815-663-4741.

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