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‘Food for fines’ amnesty in 15 Cornwall Libraries to benefit food banks

December would be a good time to search out any overdue library books, as some of Cornwall’s Libraries have decided to ask for donations to foodbanks in lieu of fines, as a special one-off Christmas fundraiser.

‘Food for fines’ was suggested by Cornwall Council Library and Information Service Manager Linda Moffatt, and her idea quickly gained support to bring a little Christmas cheer to those families facing hardship on low incomes.

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Linda sais: “Money is tight everywhere, but some families are really struggling, so in the run-up to Christmas, if you owe any money for overdue items this is a good opportunity for you to donate food to help your local community, making your own money go further too.”

All food donated over participating Library counters during December will then be passed on to local foodbank charities.

Linda added: “The following sites and our mobile libraries will accept whatever you are able to donate to clear any library fines you owe when you make your donation. How much you owe, and whether the value of the food donated matches or exceeds it, is not an issue. This is just a community coming together to help others, in the true spirit of the season. Of course, we will happily accept donations even if you don’t owe any library fines! Help us to spread some smiles this Christmas!”

The libraries taking part are in Penzance, Helston, Callington, Bodmin, Liskeard, Launceston, Looe, St Agnes, Falmouth, Redruth, St Ives, St Just, St Columb Major and Hayle, as well as the two mobile library vans. Camelford Library will be accepting food for fines up to £5.

These libraries will be displaying posters showing the types of food that can be accepted - it has to be food with a long shelf life, so no fresh food or produce thank you, or anything chilled or frozen. We welcome some household items such as toiletries and cleaning products too.

Food for Fines runs from Monday 2 December to Tuesday 31 December inclusive. 

We will be asking the teams to take festive photos to encourage food donations so why not take a selfie with your donation, and email it to so that we can share them on our social media pages? The more people who join in, the more families we can help.

The food for fines idea has already taken off in America, and had success in the UK in places including Renfrewshire and the Wirrall. Cornwall Libraries is hoping that Cornish communities will respond to the call just as generously.


Story posted on 28 November, 2019