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Donations of non-perishable goods count toward reducing overdue book fines

COURTESY PHOTO: UNSPLASH/CALLE MACARONE  - Tuesday, April 28, you can drop off your contributions for the drive at the Action Center between the hours of 9 a.m. and noon. Every year during National Library Week, librarians in Sandy run a Food for Fines drive to allow loyal bibliophiles to donate canned goods in leiu of paying off overdue books.

This year, even though the library is closed to the public, librarians have maintained the Food for Fines cause.

"With more than 6.6 million currently out of work in the United States, the need for our local food pantries are more present than ever," said a statement from the Sandy Public Library. "The Sandy Action Center is stretched to fill the need in our community."

With that in mind, the library is partnering with the Sandy Community Action Center to allow people to participate in this year's drive and give back locally.

Next Tuesday, April 28, you can drop off contributions for the drive at the Action Center, 38982 Pioneer Blvd., between the hours of 9 a.m. and noon.

To get credit for your donation in the Food for Fines effort, complete the following steps:

• Take a photo of your donation while at the Sandy Action Center

• Email the library card numbers you wish your donation to benefit, the number of cans you dropped off and the photo of your donation to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Also be sure to indicate if the library is allowed to use your photo on its social media.

The library and Action Center encourage all who are participating to maintain proper social distancing at all times.

For each unexpired canned item, the library will take a $1 off your library card fines, but you must follow all of the required steps to be eligible.

At this time, the Sandy Action Center is accepting donations of food only. Household donations will not be accepted until further notice.

Outside of the Food for Fines hours, the center is accepting additional donations of unexpired, non-perishable food on Tuesday mornings from 10 a.m. to noon.

"We are in high need of canned vegetables, tomato sauce, soup, and pancake mix," explained Executive Director Kirsten Pitzer. "We are also encouraging people to make monetary donations since we have greater buying power through Oregon Food Bank. For example, we are receiving 5,000 pounds of food (this week) that we only paid $29 for. We are feeding around 50 families per week; however, about a third of those families every week either have never visited the pantry or haven't been in a long time. This trend represents a large uptick in new families. I think this is an important service because I think a lot of our clientele do not have the means to stock up."

Monetary donations can be made to the Sandy Community Action Center online.


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