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Library Amnesty Program Yields Tons of Provisions for Food Bank

1/16/2013 1:09:52 PM

Contact: (727) 562-4970

Library Amnesty Program Yields Tons of Provisions for Food Bank

CLEARWATER, Fla. – The Clearwater Public Library is announcing its results from the Fine Amnesty for Food program that it held in December.

Between Nov. 15 and Dec. 21 of last year, library patrons were allowed amnesty for their library fines in exchange for food that was donated during the holidays to Religious Community Services Food Bank. The library collected $80 in cash and checks and 4,814 food items that weighed 5,633 pounds, the equivalent of 6,700 meals according to representatives at RCS.

The food collected by the library was part of the city’s larger holiday food drive that yielded an additional 1,729 pounds of food from other city departments and an additional $75 in cash and checks.

“Many patrons were very grateful for the opportunity to clear fines off their cards,” said Librarian Joanne Howard. “One mom said her husband had been out of work for a month, and she didn’t know how she was going to pay her fines in order to check out items for her two little girls. When she heard about the amnesty program, she headed home to check her pantry, and she said her children would be so thrilled to be able to check out books and DVDs again. They were not going to have much money for purchases or activities over the holidays, but checking out items from the library is like going home with special gifts!”

City Manager Bill Horne praised the program and thanked all who participated, calling the amnesty program with food donation as its centerpiece a “God-inspired event.”

More information is available by calling the library at (727) 562-4970.