The Food for Fines Program is a partnership the Grub Hub and Reed Library have created in order to provide another outlet for those who cannot pay their fines for their overdue books in cash.
To get rid of fine a student has, all they have to do is bring in a can of food to the library.
“We want to give out patrons [sic] a chance to pay down their fines in an easier way,” Maureen Alden, Access Services Librarian, said.
The Reed Library proposed the idea in the Fall of 2013 which has been in place at the end of each semester ever since.
The Grub Hub is a student lead organization on campus that was started by the students in the Sociology department because of the food security issues college students were having, Caitlin Laffey, Grub Hub Director, said.
The people on campus saw that the resources that are available to students weren’t being taken advantage of.
This left those in the Sociology Department wondering how they could help and how they could provide for those students who have a hard time providing for themselves, Laffey said.
After discussion over ways in which they could help, they decided that those students who may need a little extra help, especially when it comes to food, should have a place where they can go and not have to stress over when or where their next meal is coming from, Laffey said.
The Grub Hub and the Reed Library have formed a partnership in order to help with student fines and also provide food for those students who need it.
By partnering with Reed Library for the last three weeks of each semester, they have created The Food for Fine Program that gets rid of the fine that a student may have on a book and provides a can of food for those students who may need it.
If a student ends up missing the three week deadline at the end of the semester to donate a can of food to get rid of their fine, that student then has to pay the original money fee that was placed on their account, Alden said.
There is a great influx of donations that come in at the end of the semester and also at the end of the year, especially.
Having an excess amount of food allows for those students who struggle with food insecurities to take however much they want or need for that week, Laffey said.
It also brings awareness to the Grub Hub because there are still many students who struggle with food insecurities that do not know about the organization, Laffey said.
The library’s main focus in this partnership is to bring awareness to the Grub Hub but also to get the students to come back and use the library and the resources they have to offer.
Many students after they get a fine from the library tend to be hesitant in going back because they do not want to accumulate another fine and pay for it, and because of that many of the services the library provides then go unused by these students because they are afraid of getting a fine, Alden said.
This semester The Food for Fines program has collected 59 cans or boxes in exchange to get rid of their fine, Alden said.