LSU Libraries’ Food for Fines program allows students to donate non-perishable food as payment for their library fines. Each item is worth $1; students can donate up to $20 worth of items.
The program started in 2015 when Kelly Blessinger, Head of Access Services, attended a conference and learned about similar programs at other university libraries.
All food items are donated to the LSU Food Pantry at the end of November. LSU Libraries decided to send the donations to the Food Pantry because a library faculty member was a part of the group that started the initiative.
This decision also ensures students’ donations will benefit other students on campus, said Elissa Plank, Head of Circulation at LSU Libraries.
“It’s a way for students to give back to the community right here on campus with a food need,” Plank said. “They’re helping their own.”
The program has been very successful so far and has even received support from people without library fines.
These donations are available to students in need at the LSU Food Pantry, located in room 350 of the LSU Student Union.
“The Food Pantry is a resource on campus that helps students who are facing food insecurity get the supplemental food that they may need,” said Food Pantry Coordinator Rebecca Knapp
There are four ways that students can get involved with the Food Pantry. Students can donate food directly, purchase items off the Pantry’s Amazon wish list, make monetary donations or volunteer to staff the Food Pantry.
All students are encouraged to participate in LSU Libraries’ Food for Fines program throughout November by donating non-perishable food items to the Access Services desk.