The Cambrian

Cambria Library to collect food, forgive fines

San Luis Obispo County libraries, including the Cambria Library, are to mark National Library Week from April 16 to April 20 by helping the hungry through a “food for fines” event.

For each item of non-perishable food a patron brings in that week, the library will forgive $1 in fines or reservation/request fees. There’s no limit to how many overdue or hold fees may be offset by food donations. (Fees for lost or damaged items cannot be paid off through the program.)

Donated food will go to the Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo County, which distributed 5.4 million pounds of food in 2012.

Each library will have food-donation bins, and everybody — with fines or fees or not — is encouraged to help those in the county who are “food insecure” and may not know what or if their next meal will be.

Sample donations could include cans of soup, fruit, vegetables, meats or tuna, jars of peanut butter or jam, or unopened packages of beans, pasta, rice and cereal, etc. (Disposable diapers are also needed.)

For details, call librarian Joen Kommer at 927-4336.

Some 44,000 county residents, including on the North Coast, rely on the Food Bank for sustenance. The nonprofit works through 225 nonprofits and agencies and relies on about 600 volunteers.

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