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Food for fines program kicks off

By Mallory Day [1]

BELLEVILLE– Overdue library accounts don’t have to be a problem when the Food for Fines program is running.

Gleaners Food Bank [2] has partnered with the Belleville Public Library [3] for its third annual Food for Fines program. With every non-perishable food item brought in, the library will take $2 off of your overdue library account up to a maximum amount of $16 off your account.

Chief executive officer Trevor Pross said the library has already had some donations.

“Well we just started two days ago and we’ve got a couple boxes worth,” said Pross. “I’m not sure exactly how much or how much it weighs but people are definitely starting to bring food in.”

Pross said the program got started in December 2014 and happens every year in December.

“There’s lots of libraries that do it,” Pross said. “I used to work in Clarington and they’ve done it. Libraries sort of share ideas and it’s a pretty common thing among libraries so we just thought we’d give it a try.”

In 2014, the library collected 485 food items which equals to 455lbs. Last year the library collected 603 food items which equals 735lbs.

“Some people just donate, they don’t have fines they just bring in food,” said Pross. “We also have a donation box for Gleaners that’s in the lobby all through the year so anytime you could donate to Gleaners.”

Director of operations of Gleaners Food Bank Susanne Quinlan said the Belleville public library has been doing a number of programs for them.

“They’ve been doing a variety of ways,” said Quinlan. “They do Food for Fines and they do book drives for us as well.”

The library usually has two barrels full of food, said Quinlan.

“A barrel is about 100kg,” she said. “So if you times that by two that’s 220lbs.”

 The program runs until Dec. 17.