The Omaha Public Library is helping those in need and giving patrons a chance to pay off overdue book fines. In exchange for non-perishable food items, fines can be waived from accounts the week of October 14th-21st.
Food for Fines will benefit the Alliance for a Better Omaha, a collaborative of Heart Ministry Center, Together, and Food Bank for the Heartland. Library cardholders can donate non-expired canned goods and other non-perishable foods in exchange for credit toward overdue fines on their accounts. For each food item donated, two dollars in current fines will be waived, up to a maximum of 10 items or $20. Patrons who have accrued fines are encouraged to return long overdue items and have their fines waived for a donation of a food item.
"The organizations of the Alliance for a Better Omaha are committed to programs which shorten the line and truly move the dial toward ending hunger. Every Omahan can join this mission by making a donation at their branch of Omaha Public Library. What an opportunity to promote reading and literacy and help feed a hungry child," said Craig Howell, Alliance for a Better Omaha director.
“Omaha Public Library is proud to play a role in helping to feed the hungry in our community,” said OPL Executive Director Laura Marlane. “Last year, 1,135 patrons donated 5,500 pounds of food during Food for Fines Week, providing more than 4,500 meals to those in need while saving money on library fines owed. That’s impactful.”
Donations may be brought to the service desk of any of the twelve Omaha Public Library location. A library card or photo ID must be shown at the time of donation to receive a fine waiver. Food for Fines waivers apply toward late fines only. Customers with questions about their account status and whether or not the waiver will apply should contact their local library branch.