Clear Library Fines While Providing Food to Those in Need

Food for Fines 2016

Contact: Anne-Marie Despain, Director of Library Services
San Mateo County Libraries
(650) 312-5258

San Mateo County, CA – Have an overdue book, CD, or DVD from the library? Now’s your chance to clear your fines and help others by donating food to those in need during the Food for Fines program, a library community food drive. This year’s program begins on Monday, November 14 and runs through Saturday, December 31. To increase food donations countywide, public libraries in Burlingame, Daly City, Redwood City, San Mateo, and South San Francisco join San Mateo County Libraries in participating this year.

“There is a growing need for feeding the hungry in San Mateo County,” said San Mateo County Supervisor Carole Groom. She continued, “This is a wonderful opportunity to provide food for those in need in our community, while clearing up fines and resuming greater use of our outstanding library system.” Supervisor Groom encourages everyone in the community – whether or not they owe fines—to donate food at a participating library to help people in need this holiday season.

This highly successful program allows library patrons to take nonperishable food items into a participating library during business hours, and have their library fines waived. All collected food is donated to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties, opens a new window. Food must be in store-sealed cans, boxes, or plastic containers within its expiration date. Glass containers, perishable food, or opened containers cannot be accepted. Donations will waive library fines only, not fees for lost or damaged items.

Each year, Second Harvest Food Bank distributes more than 45.5 million pounds of nutritious food to low-income people in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties. Most recipients are children and seniors. The millions of pounds of food are provided free to 326 local nonprofit agencies at more than 700 sites, including pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, and after-school programs. Combined efforts last year with participating libraries resulted in the collection of over 36,000 pounds of food, feeding 1,400 families for a week.

Food for Fines is a collaboration among the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors, opens a new window, Burlingame Library, opens a new window, Daly City Public Library, opens a new window, Redwood City Public Library, opens a new window, San Mateo County Libraries, San Mateo Public Library, opens a new window, South San Francisco Library, opens a new window, and Second Harvest Food Bank, opens a new window. This library community food drive presents a great opportunity for residents to give back to the community and take advantage of the great collections and programs that libraries offer, such as best sellers, downloadable eBooks and eAudiobooks, computers classes, music, movies, and much more.