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For Immediate Release
November 21, 2013

Jenny Barnes
Library Services Supervisor
Redwood City Public Library

Redwood City Public Library Offers Amnesty for Overdue Fines: "Food for Fines" Helps Second Harvest Food Bank and Families in Need

Redwood City Public Library along with other participating libraries looking to top past donation records of two tons of food that fed more than 1,000 families

Redwood City, CA - The Redwood City Public Library, in partnership with the San Mateo County Library, San Mateo Public Library, Daly City Library and Second Harvest Food Bank, will accept donated food in place of overdue book fines as part of a unique program called "Food for Fines" - a program that allows community members a way to both clear up their unpaid library fines and build community, by donating food to those in need. The program, in its fourth year of existence, will run over the month of December.

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, Daly City Library's 3 branches or San Mateo Public Library's 3 branches) during regular business hours. The higher the amount of someone's unpaid fines, the more food they can donate.

"Library members who have overdue book fees will not only leave the library with a cleared account, but also with the great feeling of helping others as the holidays approach," states Dave Genesy, Director, Redwood City Public Library. "As a community, we can help to make sure that people in need have a meal this holiday."

All food collected will be provided to Second Harvest Food Bank. Everyone is encouraged to donate food to help people 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. In past years, between both the Redwood City Library and the San Mateo County Library system, "Food for Fines" collected more than two dozen tons of food, feeding over 1,000 families for one week each, and cleared fines for thousands of 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 to San Mateo County Libraries, San Mateo Public Libraries, Daly City Libraries and Redwood City Libraries. Libraries can accept only store-sealed items, and cannot accept glass containers.

About the Redwood City Public Library
The Award Winning Redwood City Public Library connects the community and inspires a love of reading and learning through innovative, visionary programming and services such as literacy programs, access to technology, safe, inviting spaces for youth and families, and safe, inviting spaces for youth and families. It's all online at

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



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