Mid-Continent Public Library Trades Food for Fines

Program Returns, MCPL Branches Collect Food Donations for Local Pantries

Mid-Continent Public Library’s biannual Food for Fines program is back! This month, Food for Fines will be held from Monday, May 9, through Sunday, May 15. During the weeklong initiative, MCPL customers will have the chance to donate nonperishable food items in place of money to pay off overdue fines or replacement card charges.

Customers with no fines or fees can also donate to “pay it forward” toward another customer’s fees. Following the completion of the program, the food will be given to charitable organizations across the Kansas City metro.

MCPL offers the Food for Fines program twice a year—leading into the summer to encourage active participation in the annual Summer Library Program, which this year will begin on May 31, and in the fall to alleviate any barriers for students seeking resources at the Library. To date, the Library has collected more than 155,000 items for local charities through the program.

“Food for Fines is a great opportunity for Library customers to support their community by making donations that go directly to food pantries in their own neighborhood,” said Stephen Chalmers, MCPL Excelsior Springs Branch Manager and Food for Fines coordinator. “Plus, you can eliminate fines from your Library account or from a fellow customer’s.”

Suggested donations include boxed meals, canned food, peanut butter, cereal, and pasta. Donations must not be expired, damaged, open, non-nutritious, or in a glass, plastic, or cardboard drink container. Each donated food item will count as $1 toward a customer’s fines and fees (up to $10).

Current Food for Fines recipients include:

MCPL BranchOrganization
Antioch BranchFeed Northland Kids
Blue Ridge BranchCommunity Assistance Council
Blue Springs North BranchCommunity Services League
Blue Springs South BranchCommunity Services League
Buckner BranchCommunity Services League
Camden Point BranchDearborn Community Food Network
Claycomo BranchSt. Benedict’s Food Pantry
Colbern Road Library CenterColdwater of Lee’s Summit
Dearborn BranchDearborn Community Food Network
East Lee’s Summit BranchLee’s Summit Social Services
Edgerton BranchDearborn Community Food Network
Excelsior Springs BranchGood Samaritan Center of Excelsior Springs
Farview Neighborhood Library & Food PantryCommunity Services League (in-branch food pantry)
Grain Valley BranchCommunity Services League
Grandview BranchGrandview Assistance Program
Kearney BranchKearney Food Pantry
Lone Jack BranchHelping Hands Food Pantry
Midwest Genealogy CenterCommunity Services League
North Independence BranchCommunity Services League
Oak Grove BranchCommunity Services League
Parkville BranchSt. Vincent DePaul Food Pantry at St. Therese Parish
Platte City BranchTreasure Chest
Raytown BranchHope Network for Raytown
Red Bridge BranchCommunity Assistance Council
Riverside BranchMimi’s Pantry
Smithville BranchFirst Baptist Church of Smithville and Smithville First Christian Church Food Pantry
South Independence BranchCommunity Services League
Weston BranchWeston Community Food Pantry
Withers BranchGrace Episcopal Food Pantry
Woodneath Library CenterKansas City Church

For more information about Food for Fines, visit

Access Your World
Founded in 1965, Mid-Continent Public Library is the largest library system in the Kansas City metropolitan area, operating 33 locations and two Library-To-Go locations and serving more than 840,000 people in Jackson, Clay, and Platte Counties. MCPL is an award-winning library system that strives to enrich citizens and communities through expanding access to innovation, information, ideas, and inspiration. Connect with the Library on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Unless explicitly attributed, the opinions expressed are personal and not that of Mid-Continent Public Library.

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