Two cans of food will erase $1 in fines at Tigard library

Were you a little late in returning that book to the Tigard Public Library?

Never fear, the library’s annual Food for Fines program gives you a chance to erase your fines, and help the needy at the same time.

The annual program collects thousands of pounds of food each year for the St. Vincent de Paul food pantry located at St. Anthony Church in Tigard.

For every two non-perishable items donated to the library between Sunday, Jan. 20, and Saturday, Jan. 26, $1 in fines will be taken off your account, up to $10.

January is an important month for food pantries because their inventories are often depleted during the holidays.

Library officials recommend bringing in baby food, chili, soup, macaroni and cheese, peanut butter, pasta, rice, cereal, canned fruits, fruit juices and canned meats such as tuna or chicken.

The library can’t accept homemade or open items, or unlabeled cans.

The library collects on average more than 2,500 pounds of food during the weeklong food drive that launched in 2008.

In 2012, the library collected 2,983 pounds of food and waived nearly $1,000 in fines.

The annual food drive was originally held in December, but moved last year to January to coincide with Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

“Sharing and caring exemplify the spirit of Martin Luther King (Jr.) Day,” said Paula Walker, library spokeswoman. “Join the library’s food drive, help out the community and do yourself a favor, too.”

There are limitations, however. The donated food will only work toward overdue fees, not fines that have been sent to collections agencies or fines for damaged or lost library books.

The library is also accepting cash donations to the food pantry.

Donations can be made at the library circulation desk during regular hours.

The Tigard Public Library is located at 13500 S.W. Hall Blvd.

For more information on the event, call 503-684-6537.

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