Libraries Doing Their Part To End Hunger

It’s not uncommon for students pursuing culinary certificates to reflect on the notion that they’re very fortunate to be in the position they’re in. The culinary arts are a wonderful thing, and we’re certainly privileged to enjoy them. That said, it’s important that we take the time to consider those less fortunate than us for whom hunger is a very real problem, particularly around the holidays. If you’re fortunate enough to have bountiful food in your home this holiday season and also happen to have some overdue library materials checked out, then you may be in luck. Numerous libraries across the country are engaging in a philanthropic effort to help minimize the impact of hunger by accepting donations of nonperishable food in place of traditional late fees.

According to SeaCoast Online, the Portsmouth Public Library in Portsmouth, New Hampshire has initiated a “Food For Fines” program to help try and eliminate hunger during the holiday season. The program, which comes on the heels of Mayor Robert Lister’s announcement that Dec. 2, 2014 will be considered “Giving Tuesday” in Portsmouth, aims to eradicate hunger by allowing library cardholders to return their books without paying late fees so long as they make a donation of nonperishable items. The library will then transfer these over to the SeaCoast Family Food Pantry.

In a move worthy of celebration, the program has also been launched under several different names in libraries across the country. According to the Great Bend Tribune, the local library of the town in  Kansas, will be running a similar program, as will libraries and depositories in Nevada, New Jersey and a number of other states. The vast majority of libraries engaging in these programs have noted that these donations are only acceptable in lieu of late fees, not as payment for lost or stolen items.

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