CHS Library Helps Restock Food Pantries With ‘Food for Fines’

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If you’re a Columbia High student who’s been racking up library fines, don’t despair. Now, you can tell your mom and dad that your lax behavior could help feed the hungry.

You heard right. CHS Librarian Suzanne Ng tells us that students with overdue materials can now trade “food for fines.”

The Columbia High School Library, in partnership with the Columbia HS Key Club, will help restock local food pantries for the upcoming holiday season by offering a two-week-long Food for Fines program. 

From December 1-12, 2014, students can bring in unexpired canned goods in exchange for payment of existing overdue fines. One item equals $1 credit towards library fines. The Food for Fines program does not apply to the replacement cost of books. 

Items most needed include peanut butter, canned tuna or chicken, canned stews or chili, 100 % juice, powdered milk, and shelf-stable milk (such as Parmalat). The library can only accept non-glass containers. And check those expiration dates: no expired foods will be accepted!

“More than 100 families visit the food pantry each Saturday to receive one or more bags of groceries,” writes Ng. “Thank you in advance for clearing your library fines and helping the local food pantries. The goal is collect and donate more than 250 lbs. of food through this food drive.”

More details about the program are available in the library and at or contact email with any questions.

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