Food for Fines collects 3,500 items for families in need

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St. Johns County Public Library patrons were generous over the holiday season, donating more than 3,500 nonperishable food items for St. Johns County’s Health and Human Services Food Pantry through Food for Fines.

The Food for Fines annual program enables patrons to donate food to local families in need and help “pay down” their overdue fines during the holiday season.

“It’s a real benefit to the community we serve to have the Food for Fines program,” said Tracy Dillon, social services manager for St. Johns County. “The food donated by library patrons replenishes our dwindling food supplies and allows us to operate our Food Pantry for nearly the whole year.”

Health and Human Services provides a wide variety of services for approximately 10,000 clients in St. Johns County throughout the year.

“We’ve seen the Food for Fines program grow every year since we first implemented it in 2007,” said Library System Director Debra Rhodes Gibson. “For each item of food donated, a dollar of fines is taken off their account. It’s even supported by our patrons who don’t have fines. The whole community gets behind it.”

Food for Fines is one of several collaborative programs that the St. Johns County Public Library System participates in with other county departments, extending its reach to St. Johns County residents.

To learn more about the library system and programming, go to sjcpls.org.

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