St Helens libraries to accept food bank donations in place of late fines

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Library bosses in St Helens will reduce late fines for tardy readers - if they donate items to a food bank.

The scheme will be introduced between Monday, November 27 and Tuesday, January 2 at libraries across the borough.

For each item of food donated, the service will reduce the amount of fines a person owes by £1 (up to a maximum of £50).

If your fine is less than £1 it will simply be cleared.

All libraries in the borough are taking part and items can be donated during normal opening hours.

This is the third year the service has ran this initiative, during which time hundreds of items of food have been donated to the St Helens Food Bank based in Atherton Street in the town centre.

The food bank is currently short of the following items:

· UHT long-life milk

· long-life orange juice

· Sugar

· Jam

Coun Sue Murphy, cabinet member for libraries and leisure services, said: “We’ll be delighted to see as many people as possible paying off their fines with food donations.

“St Helens Food Bank is doing a huge amount of good and is a lifeline for many families on a low income who may have suddenly experienced redundancy or received an unexpected bill.”

St Helens Food Bank provides a minimum of three days emergency food and support to people experiencing crisis.

For more information go to http://sthelens.foodbank.org.uk

Donators should be aware that no fresh or perishable food can be accepted.