Library brings back popular Food for Fines program

By Ed Harris
The annual Food for Fines program has returned to the Southington Library.
In existence for more than a dozen years, the program will run through December 31.
“The library started with the Mitten Tree then expanded to collecting non-perishable food items for Community Services,” said Southington Library Publicist Jeanne D. Chmielewski. “The community benefits by receiving an overwhelming amount of needed food items and the library benefits by getting back some late books. Plus we get our delinquent patrons to return. They feel good about doing something meaningful for their community in the process.”
The minimal donation is one non-perishable item, which will cover late fines. The program does not cover lost or damage materials, fees that are in the collective stages or lost card fees.
“Our patrons look forward to this time of year to have their late item fines eliminated with a non-perishable food item donation,” Chmielewski said.  “Many patrons bring a bag full of items others donate out of simple kindness. The minimal amount of staff time and a negligible loss in income gives the library enormous returns in community outreach, staff morale, circulation statistics, and late-item recovery. The program reinforces the image of the library as a learning place that reaches out to all of the members of its community, regardless of income.”
All donations must be unopened. The cans or jars cannot be dented or broken. Also, keep an eye on the donation’s use by date.

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