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Food for Fines 2011: Give Back and Be Thankful

Earlier, I was hungry. I went to the kitchen, consulted with my husband, checked the pantry, and we made dinner. Barbecue chicken on homemade artisan bread. Now, I’m not hungry anymore.

But, as we so often ignore or forget, there are people in our very city who work hard, sometimes harder than you and I, and their cabinets are bare. They can’t choose from chips and salsa, Cheez-its, or fresh apples and bananas when they need a snack. When they are hungry, their bellies ache. Man. I am lucky.

This week, the Springfield-Greene County Library is partnering with Ozarks Food Harvest in a program called Food for Fines to help fill those hungry tummies and alleviate patrons’ library fines.

Until Saturday, every can you take to the check-out desk at any library branch will be worth $0.50 in library fines.

In our library district, you can no longer check out materials if your fines are $10 or more, and in our own district, there are nearly 6,500 kids and teens who can no longer take advantage of the libraries because of that. They can’t check out books, listen to new music, watch free movies, or listen to audiobooks. If you know a kid (or even a friend) who can’t check out books, grab some canned goods and your buddy and get them reading, listening, or watching again.

We take so many things for granted: the food on our table every day, and the thousands of free books, movies, CDs, and audiobooks that we can check out for free, just for living here.

Even if you don’t have fines (go you!), this is the perfect opportunity to give back to your community and show support for our active, innovative library district. You’ve got until Saturday, when Food for Fines 2011 ends. Don’t let it pass you by!

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