TAVARES —The Lake County Library System forgave $1,284 in overdue library fines in exchange for more than 2,300 food items donated to local community food pantries.
During the Food for Fines campaign, held May 16-28 at each of the 15 Lake County Library System libraries, non-perishable food was traded for absolved overdue fines.
The Lake County Board of County Commissioners approved the Food for Fines initiative to allow library patrons to be relieved of their overdue fees while helping support Lake County’s food banks. South Lake Community Ministries, the Leesburg Food Bank, Lake Cares and Faith Neighborhood Center were among the 14 beneficiaries of the program.
Leesburg Public Library led the challenge, forgiving $490 in fines, with Cagan Crossings Community Library waiving $210 in fees, and Fruitland Park and Cooper Memorial libraries dropping around $130 each.
Clearing fines from children’s library cards will allow them to fully participate in the summer reading program, and potentially prevent a seasonal slump in students’ reading habits, according to Lake County Library Services Division Manager Paul Alford.
The Lake County Library System is dedicated to promoting life-long learning under a cooperative countywide library system; and engaging the community by offering physical and digital content, programs and services critical to education, research and workforce training. For more information about the Lake County Library System or to find out about future programs, call 352-253-6180, or visit http://mylakelibrary.org or www.facebook.com/LakeCountyFLLibrary.