Amnesty on overdue books in exchange for food donations

Thursday, February 27, 2020

People with overdue library items are being offered the chance to transform their overdue charges into Christmas goodies for local families.

The Food for Fines initiative by Wakefield libraries allows them the opportunity to donate food instead for people in need across the district.

There is no limit to the amount on overdue charges that can be paid off with food or toiletry donations.

Last year, £1,744.53 in fines were waived and more than 1,300 items were donated and distributed to seven charities.

This year the programme is running again until 24 December.

Cllr Jacquie Speight, Wakefield Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport, said: “We ran this initiative last year for the first time and it was such a huge success that we are making it an annual event.

“I wish to recognise Wakefield Library Manager Sue Eustace whose concern and caring thoughts for people in need were translated into the Food for Fines programme.

“Library users who do not owe money are also free to pop into their local library and donate toiletries or food.

“A huge thank you on behalf of our library staff to everyone who donated last year and who will donate again this year. We look forward to as great as or even a better response than last year.”

Overdue fines can be redeemed at any library across the district. The food must be non-perishable food in tins or packages. Tins must be labelled and other food must have its packaging intact with a Use By date of 2020 or later. Toiletries need to be unopened.

All library users and residents in the district are welcomed to make a donation.