Throughout December, San Mateo County library patrons can settle fines from overdue books or DVDs with donations of non-perishable food instead of cash, according to library services personnel.
"There is a growing need for feeding the hungry in San Mateo County," county Supervisor Carole Groom said. "This is a wonderful opportunity to provide for those in need in our community, while clearing up fines and resuming greater use of our outstanding library system."
Groom encouraged anyone, regardless of whether they owe library fines, to donate food at their local library to help needy families this holiday season.
The "Food for Fines" program is a partnership among the county board of supervisors, the Daly City, Redwood City, San Mateo and San Mateo County libraries and the Second Harvest Food Bank.
Last year, the food drive netted 25,331 pounds of food - enough to feed 1,053 families for a week, according to county library personnel.
The program also earned the San Mateo County Library the Second Harvest Food Bank's "Outside the Barrel" award, which recognizes innovative and creative food drive efforts.