Food for Fines programs: One parking ticket is helping the hungry

A month long program called "Food for Fines" in Lexington, Kentucky takes place from November 16th to December 18th. The program originally limited citizens to pay citations for expired parking meters. But with the success that they had in 2014 by bringing in more than 6,200 cans made LexPark Executive Director decide for this year, 2015, they would open the program up. Therefore all citations could receive credit in return of donations,  and by opening up the program the city hopes to increase the number of donations.

God's Pantry Food Bank is grateful for this program that they are now able to use the food to stock the four different Lexington locations. Marian Guinn, God's Pantry CEO, said since the program took place, "One expired parking meter ticket could mean two meals for hungry Fayette county families." This was great news!

The requirements for the program are they suggest for large cans with vegetables and proteins, no out-of-date, damaged, or open canned goods will be accepted. With the donation of 10 canned food items the citizen will receive $15 credit on their citations. The citizens are allowed to bring up to 10 cans per citation for credit.  But Lexington was the start of the "Food for Fines" program.  

Now the city of Albany, New York has become involved. There program states any or all penalties before July 31, 2015 can be resolved by paying for the parking tickets and surcharges in return for donations for The Food Pantries of the Capitol Region.

With such success with this program in other cities it  could be a possible program for Athletes C.A.R.E to run during the period of time we do CANS for C.A.R.E.. Our annual can food drive just ended at the end of November once again it was a great success with over 700 pounds of food. Thanks to all that donated and we can't wait for another successful drive in 2016!

Stephanie Nickerson