NORMAN — The Pioneer Library System has launched its annual Food for Fines program, with food donations accepted in lieu of money owed on overdue books.
The program begins Tuesday and will continue through Nov. 21 at the system's 10 branch libraries in Cleveland, McClain, and Pottawatomie counties.
Cardholders can bring one can, box or bag of non-expired, nonperishable food and exchange it for $1 credit per item on fines, up to a maximum waiver of $20 off an account.
Food items must be unopened and undamaged. Donations do not count toward lost item charges or fees associated with debt collection.
The food will be distributed to nonprofit social service agencies in the communities where it is collected.
The library traditionally offers the program after the Thanksgiving holiday. The campaign was launched earlier this year at the request of the agencies, Pioneer Library System spokesman Christian Potts said.
“Many of the organizations have indicated they could do more with the donations around the holidays if they received the food earlier than in the past,” Potts said.
Last year's collection totaled more than 3.3 tons of food, he said.
For information about the program, call any Pioneer Library System branch or go to www.justsoyouknow.us.