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Archived News Release from 2011

For Immediate Release

Redwood City Library Offers Special Amnesty for Overdue Fines: “Food for Fines” Helps Second Harvest Food Bank and Families in Need

Redwood City, CA - December 1, 2011 - Following up on last year’s very successful program, the Redwood City Public Library, in partnership with the San Mateo County Library, the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors, and Second Harvest Food Bank, again presents a unique way to both clear up unpaid library fines, and build community by donating food to those in need. It’s the second annual “Food-for-Fines” program, which allows library patrons to pay-off their library fines by donating food through December 29.

Anyone with outstanding library fines is invited to deliver nonperishable food items to any Redwood City library (or to any of the San Mateo County Library’s twelve branches) during regular business hours. The higher the amount of someone’s unpaid fines, the more food they should donate! They’ll leave the library with a cleared account and the great feeling of having helped others as the holidays approach.

All food collected will be provided to Second Harvest Food Bank, and of course everyone is encouraged to donate food to help those in need, even if they don’t owe any library fines – each library has a special Second Harvest Food Bank bin where donated food items can be placed. Last year, between both the Redwood City Library and the San Mateo County Library system, “Food For Fines” collected nearly 31,000 pounds of food, feeding over 1,000 families for one week each, and cleared fines for 4,401 library users. 

Over 45.5 million pounds of nutritious food is delivered annually by Second Harvest Food Bank to low income people in need in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties. The majority of these people are children and seniors. These millions of pounds of food are provided free of charge to 326 local nonprofit agencies at more than 700 sites, including pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, and after-school programs.

Please note that food donations as part of the Food for Fines program cannot be applied towards the cost of lost or damaged library items, unique collection items, or printing fees. The program is only valid for fines and fees of to San Mateo County Libraries and Redwood City Libraries. Libraries can accept only store-sealed items, and cannot accept glass containers.

The Redwood City Public Library inspires learning through innovative and visionary programming and services—literacy programs, support for school success, access to technology, safe, inviting spaces for youth and families, and gathering places that connect the members of the community with a love of reading and learning. For more information about Library events and services you may access the Library’s home page at or call 780-7026.

Visit Redwood City’s award-winning website at for information about the City and its services, the community, recreation programs, education, and local business. Subscribe to Redwood City’s email newsletter and other City documents by visiting


Maria Kramer
Redwood City Library
(650) 780-7043


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