‘Food for Fines’ donation program returns to West Iron District Library

For every $2 in overdue fines, patrons can donate one non-perishable item to erase it.
Published: Nov. 2, 2022 at 6:36 PM EDT
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IRON RIVER, Mich. (WLUC) - As the season of giving approaches, the West Iron District Library is looking for help to give back to those in need.

The library’s overdue book fee is a nickel a day. During the month of November, patrons can cast away that fee during the “Food for Fines” program.

“Instead of paying the funds to the library, they can donate non-perishable food items or toiletry items and then we will bring those to the local food pantry,” said Stephanie Swenski, West Iron District Library Director.

For every $2 in overdue fines, patrons can donate one item to erase it. This is the first time in several years the library has run this program. It started Tuesday, and Swenski said the word is beginning to spread.

“We are starting to get some collections and we are advertising it more as people come in,” Swenski said.

Swenski said the library wants to remain active in the community, especially around the holidays.

“We like to think of ourselves as the center, or hub, of the community,” Swenski said. “We see everybody from the community, all ages, and we want to help in any way that we can.”

Anyone is encouraged to donate non-perishable items or toiletries, even if they have no overdue fines. The program does not apply to fines related to lost or damaged books. Swenski said all the items collected will remain local. Library staff said they will be donated here to the St. Vincent DePaul store and pantry.