Omaha Public Library (OPL) will accept food donations during the week of October 6-13 to benefit the nutritious choice food pantry and community nutrition programs of Together with collaborative partners across the city, including Food Bank for the Heartland. OPL cardholders can donate non-expired canned goods and other non-perishable foods in exchange for credit toward overdue fines on their OPL accounts. For each food item donated, two dollars in current fines will be waived, up to a maximum of 10 items/$20. Patrons who have accrued fines at OPL are encouraged to return long overdue items and have their fines waived for a donation of a food item.
“We are excited to continue this wonderful collaboration. Through Omaha Public Library, our community can come together and take a stand to lift up many lives with nutritious and needed food,” said Mike Hornacek, president and CEO of Together. “On behalf of the thousands who visit our pantry, I want to thank Omaha Public Library and its patrons. We want everyone to return their books on time, but if they have a fine, pay for it by joining the cause to end hunger.”
Donations may be brought to the service desk of any Omaha Public Library location. A library card or photo ID must be shown at the time of donation to receive a fine waiver. Food for Fines waivers apply toward late fines only. Customers with questions about their account status and whether or not the waiver will apply should contact their local library branch.
“Omaha Public Library is proud to play a role in helping to feed the hungry in our community,” said OPL Executive Director Laura Marlane. “Last year, 589 patrons donated 3,378 pounds of food during Food for Fines Week, providing more than 2,815 meals to those in need while saving money on library fines owed. That’s impactful.”
Together encourages library patrons to donate canned goods that are low-salt/sodium or no salt added, as well as other nonperishable foods they would enjoy eating. Specific items that are most needed at this time include oatmeal; nuts; granola bars; canned chili, soups, pinto beans, chicken and tuna; tuna snack kits; no-sugar-added applesauce; salsa; pasta sauce, macaroni & cheese; and cooking oils.
Visit omahalibrary.org for more information on these and additional events and resources at Omaha Public Library’s 12 locations.