This City Allows People To Pay Off Parking Tickets With Food Pantry Donations

pantryshelves-102612-cp-tifBy Amanda Froelich

For one month in Lexington County, Kentucky, individuals who forgot to feed their parking meter or drove too fast and got a ticket can pay off their fines with canned good donations.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that during the month-long “Food for Fines” program (November 16 – December 18), the city’s parking authority will accept cans for citations.

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Those who donate 10 canned food items will receive a $15 credit on citations. Customers with multiple citations are only allowed to bring in 10 cans per citation to receive the credits.

All the food will be donated to God’s Pantry Food Bank, which will use the items to stock the shelves of its four Lexington locations.

Said Marian Guinn, the CEO of God’s Pantry: “One expired parking meter ticket could mean two meals for hungry Fayette County families.”

LexPark Executive Director Gary Means said that citizens brought in more than 6,200 cans of food as payment during last year’s “Food for Fines” program. The wonderful initiative is helping low-income families stay satiated during the cold and long winter months. Its importance, obviously, cannot be overstated.

HuffPost reports that last year, the program was strictly limited to LexPark citations for expired parking meters. This year, any parking citation issued by either LexPark or the police department will be eligible. This means the food pantry is likely to receive even more donations.

“We hope by opening the program up to all types of citations, we’ll see the numbers increase,” Means said.

No out-of-date, damaged or open canned goods will be accepted. The park authority suggests that those seeking to exchange food for fines bring large cans with vegetables and proteins.

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