By NewsLine Staff
St. Johns County Library patrons were exceptionally generous this holiday season, donating nearly 9,000 non-perishable food items for the county’s Health and Human Services Food Pantry. Food for Fines, an annual program in place from Thanksgiving through New Year’s, enables patrons with overdue fines to instead donate food for families in need.
“It’s a real benefit to the community we serve to have the Food for Fines Program,” said Tracy Dillon, Social Services Manager for St. Johns County. “The food donated by library patrons replenishes our dwindling food supplies and allows us to operate our Food Pantry for nearly the whole year. It’s the most effective county-wide food drive that we have.”
Health and Human Services provides a wide variety of services for approximately 10,000 clients in St. Johns County throughout the year.
“We’ve seen the Food for Fines Program grow every year since we first implemented it in 2007,” said Library System Director Debra Rhodes Gibson. “For each item of food donated, a dollar is taken off fines on their account. It’s even supported by our patrons who don’t have fines. The whole community gets behind it.”
Food for Fines is one of several collaborative programs that the St. Johns County Library System participates in with other county departments, extending its reach to county residents. Visit www.sjcpls.org for more information.
Photo courtesy St. Johns County Library
Ponte Vedra Beach Branch Library staff with some of the items donated by patrons during the Food for Fines drive.