The Ponte Vedra Beach Branch Library, along with other branches in St. Johns County, announced that library patrons were exceptionally generous this holiday season, donating nearly 9,000 non-perishable food items for the county’s Health and Human Services Food Pantry. Food for Fines, an annual program in place from Thanksgiving through New Year’s, enables patrons to donate food for families in need to “pay down” their overdue fines.
“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. It’s the most effective county-wide food drive that we have.” 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 is taken off fines on their account. It’s even supported by our patrons who don’t have fines. The whole community gets behind it.”