Over 500 take advantage of Food for Fines

In this supplied photo, non-perishable food items are collected at an SDG Library location on Tuesday, May 29, 2018 as part of the Food for Fines program. Organizers are calling the latest installment a success. (SDG Library via Newswatch Group)

SD&G – Organizers of the spring “Food for Fines” program at SD&G library branches are calling the latest installment a success.

The program allows users with fines on file to be able to pay down their outstanding charges – $1 for every food item donated.

Between May 19 and May 26, 528 donations were made compared to 468 in May 2017.

There were 832 donations during the fall campaign.

Depending on the library location, the food will be going to St. Vincent De Paul Society in Alexandria, Community Food Share in Morrisburg and Winchester, and the House of Lazarus Community Outreach Mission in Mountain.

“Food for Fines is a great initiative. Its success stems from the dedication of the library’s incredible public service staff, and from the generosity of our community,” spokesman Nick Seguin said.

Citing privacy concerns or an inability to access the information, Seguin wasn’t able to tell Newswatch the total amount of fines the library system has on the books, how many users currently have fines and the SD&G branch with the greatest number of delinquent users.

He did say the SDG library system as around 14,000 active members.

According to the county’s 2018 budget, the SDG Library is budgeted to collect nearly $25,000 through fines and fees this year. It brought in $20,177 last year – slightly under budget.