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St. Louis County Library to conduct 'Food for Fines' from April 19 to 25

For the sixth year in a row, the St. Louis County Library plans on saving residents some dough.

During National Library Week, April 19 to April 25, the St. Louis County Library will operate a "Food for Fines'' project at each of its 20 locations, according to a news release.

The library hopes the project will result in many returned books and help the hungry. For more information, call 994-3300 or visit

For each can of food brought in, the library will reduce a patron's fine by $1, up to $25 in overdue fines only. Cans of non-food items are not acceptable.

Some favorite foods among recipients are: peanut butter, soups, meat, canned spaghetti/ravioli, hot and cold cereals or any high-protein item.

To find out more, contact Operation Food Search at 726-5355.

Food items will be donated to Operation Food Search. This organization helps to feed 90,000 people each month — nearly half of them are children. The St. Louis County Library system donated more than 19,400 canned food items last year and hopes to greatly increase that number this year.

Anyone is welcome to contribute to the project — not just those who have fines.

Patrons may not turn in cans to pay for lost or damaged materials, items from the Inter-Library Loan Department or collection agency fees. Change will not be given.

"We are participating in 'Food for Fines' for several reasons,'' C. Daniel Wilson Jr., director of St. Louis County Library, stated in a news release. "April is not a popular time for food banks to receive donations and we'd like to help when they need it most.

"Secondly, we want to convey to our patrons that St. Louis County Library strives to be an essential part of the community. This campaign will both educate and provide our patrons with the opportunity to take part in eliminating hunger,'' Wilson added.

With 20 branches, the St. Louis County Library serves more than 870,000 people within a 460-square-mile area with more than 2 million cataloged items.

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