Students who have outstanding balances from past due library books are in luck this semester. St. John’s Staten Island and Queens campuses are participating in a program called “Food for Fines.”
The program started March 22 and will run through May 16. During these days students may bring in various food items to the library’s circulation desks on the third and fourth floors to have their balances waived.
Brian Mikesell, associate university librarian for Systems and Services, explained that one food item from the approved list will erase one fine.
Appropriate donations include powdered mixes, canned fruit, meat or fish, evaporated milk, pasta, rice, and canned juices.
For students who have more than one fee on their record, multiple donations will be accepted and fines will be waived from the lowest to highest amounts. Pre-existing fines on library books are also acknowledged and wiped out.
Nick Kofteris, a senior, said, “This benefits both students and families in need, and it’s a great way to give back to the community while saving a few bucks if you have canned food you really don’t put to use.”
All of the food collected will be donated to Our Lutheran Food Pantry for those who are donating to Queens’ campus and Project Hospitality for those who donate on the Staten Island campus.
Bianca Sean-Cayenne, a junior, said “I feel that this is a good program because it encourages people to give to the less fortunate when they may not have if this program was not put into place.”
Karen Reyes, a senior, said she wishes she could participate in this program.
“Students get their fines taken away and St. John’s gets to help the community,” she said. “Sadly I don’t owe any fines this semester!”
The Food for Fines program is open to all St. John’s students, whether you have an outstanding balance or not.