UC San Diego Library’s ‘Food for Fine$’ Program Waives Overdue Fees for a Good Cause

The UC San Diego Library is teaming up with the UC San Diego Triton Food Pantry to offer students a unique alternative to paying recall or reserve library fines with nonperishable food donations.

In support of the food pantry, the Library’s Food for Fine$ is a new initiative encouraging students to offer food donations to receive a $2 credit per eligible item toward their existing fines for recent overdue Library materials.

“This initiative demonstrates the Library’s commitment to the UC San Diego community by providing needed relief to some students who might otherwise skip a meal to save money,” said Kymberly Goodson, program director for Spaces, Lending, & Access (SLA). “We’re thrilled about this partnership with the Food Pantry. It’s something we’ve never done at the Library, and we hope we can continue it in the future.”

To participate, students can drop off nonperishable foods at the Geisel or BLB Front Desks, including canned meats, canned vegetables, boxes of cereal, cooking oils, and much more (see details of eligible donations and fines here). No glass containers will be accepted and food cannot be repackaged, damaged, opened, or expired. Food for Fine$ kicks off May 27 and runs through June 9.

“Only fines incurred in Weeks 1 through 8 of Spring Quarter will be credited by donated goods, up to a $40 maximum,” said Goodson. “Alternately, participants can receive a credit for already paid fines from this time period.”

The UC San Diego Library joins a network of other universities with similar programs, such as UC Irvine Libraries, U-T at Arlington, and Texas A&M. Food for Fine$ originated in public libraries as a way to further contribute to their communities while also providing a way for library users to decrease or pay their fines and begin using their library cards again.

“We’ve seen an increase in students using the pantry as tuition costs rise. We currently serve over 700 students per week. A 2012 UC Undergraduate Experience Survey showed 25 percent of UC San Diego students ‘often’ skip meals to save cash,” said Sherlock Li, manager at the Triton Food Pantry. “With summer around the corner, Food for Fine$ is a great way for students to clear their cupboards before moving out and keep the Food Pantry stocked.”

The Triton Food Pantry was launched by Associated Students in February 2015 to ensure the academic success of students of all backgrounds. All registered students with a valid UC San Diego identification card can visit the pantry once per week to get up to 10 points worth of food. Fresh produce is also available to supplement students’ needs.”

For more information about the Food for Fine$ program, contact staff at either the Geisel or BLB Front Desks.

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