Someone may pay off their overdue fines at the Park City Library this month at the same time they help the needy.
The library in November is offering its annual Food for Fines program. The library will forgive $1 or part of $1 in overdue fines for each nonperishable food item someone brings in. For example, if someone has amassed $5 in overdue fines and brings in one nonperishable food item, the fines would be reduced to $4.
The program lasts until Nov. 30. Pam Evans, who works at the library and helps organize Food for Fines, said the food that is collected will be donated to the Park City Christian Center, which operates a food pantry. Evans said the library in 2012 collected five medium-sized plastic bags of food during the program.
"We have a pretty good response to it. Sometimes people wait all year to get this done," Evans said.
She said the library hopes to collect: white rice, cooking oil, dry beans, canned vegetables, canned fruit, fruit juice, macaroni and cheese, canned soup, canned tuna and pasta sauce. The food items cannot be damaged or expired, the library says on its website.
Someone who must pay the library for a lost or damaged book may not donate food to reduce the amount that is owed. People who want to participate in the program may bring the food items to the circulation desk.
For more information, contact the library at 615-5600. Library hours are Mondays through Thursdays from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. and Sundays from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m.
Rob Harter, the executive director of the Park City Christian Center, said there is more need for food donations after the recent shutdown of the federal government. The shutdown occurred at the same time as the seasonal work force was arriving in Park City, he said.
"This is the time we have an increased need," he said, calling the Food for Fines program "fairly creative" and a "kind of a win-win."