'Food for Fines' program in Quitman forgives overdue book fines for food donations

QUITMAN, Miss. (WTOK) - A local library has come up with an interesting way for book lovers to pay of overdue library fines.

The Clarke-County- Quitman Library's "Food for Fines" initiative is a great way for the library- and the community- to help families in need during the holidays.

Over the next several weeks, the library will forgive overdue book fines in exchange for food donations.

Librarian Barbara O'Neil says it's a great way to get into the holiday spirit.

"If somebody has an overdue fine, instead of paying with cash, they can bring in one non-perishable item for every dollar that they owe, so if they owe $10 they can bring in 10 non-perishable items and we forgive their fines,” says O’Neil.

She says it's important to remember the holidays can be difficult for some families.

"We want to show people that we care. As a society, we put a lot of emphasis on the holidays, and a big meal and there are a lot of people out there that don't have the money for a big meal. I've been there. I want this to help our community, i want somebody to receive some food and to be able to have a nice holiday with their family."

The incentive doesn't work for replacement fines, but O'Neil says the food drive is open for anyone, even if they aren't past due on books.

The Clarke County Baptist Association has partnered with the library this year.

The ‘Food for Fines’ program runs through December 19th.