Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

CNHI/Southeast Iowa

December 26, 2013

Food For Fines helps hungry

OSKALOOSA — The Oskaloosa Public Library staff has been accepting food in lieu of cash for overdue fines in the Food For Fines program to benefit the Ecumenical Cupboard.

The Food For Fines program ran from Dec. 9 through Dec. 21, Library Director William Ottens said.

“For each item, we credited $1 towards their overdue fees,” Ottens said.

Ottens said he wanted to continue the program that the library started in 2010.

“I wanted to give people a chance to clean up their fines before the holidays and give them a chance to give to the community,” he said.

The final tally was 350 items, Library Building Superintendent Mike Calzaretta said.

The food will be taken to the Ecumenical Cupboard, Ottens said.

Library assistant Marion Gaughan said people really contributed this year.

“It’s been really successful,” she said. “It’s a way for people to help others and help themselves.”

Some people have brought in more food than what their fines were worth, Gaughan said.

“It makes people feel better — they’re giving,” she said.

 

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The Iowegian wants readers to think about the solicitation ordinance that will prevent groups or individuals from entering a roadway to solicit money. The Centerville City Council in June by a 5-0 vote passed the first reading of just such an ordinance. Public pressure and during a subsequent special meeting, the council voted 3-2 to table the ordinance. A second special meeting to discuss the solicitation ordinance is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 7 at City Hall. So, the question of the week is, "Do you or do you not support the ordinance to prevent solicitation of funds in city streets?"

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