LIVINGSTON, NJ — Thanks to the Livingston Public Library’s second annual Food for Fines initiative, which recently waived a single late fee for every non-perishable, unexpired item donated to Livingston Neighbor’s Helping Neighbors’ C.H.O.W. (Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse), $2,609.65 in fines were waived and hundreds of library accounts are now in good standing.

Donations included canned goods, pasta, peanut butter, cereal, toiletries and paper goods. This year, 172 library accounts were cleared and 848 items were donated.

“We are overwhelmed by the generosity and support of our library and the Livingston community,” said Melissa Pritsiolas, board member of Livingston Neighbors Helping Neighbors (LNHN). “All the food donations result in money that the library would otherwise collect for overdue items and we are humbled that they chose to support C.H.O.W. again this year. So many local families will benefit from this effort.”

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Food for Fines Week typically takes place at the end of September, which is National Library Card Sign-Up Month, to encourage young cardholders to clear their records. 

“Food for Fines has become a great way for us to bring library cardholders’ accounts up to date while also giving back those in need,” said Library Director Amy Babcock Landry. “Each year, we have been so impressed with the participation from our community.” 

C.H.O.W., a project recently taken on by LNHN, provides non-perishables to more than 35 families in the community and sends excess to partner organizations when it can. C.H.O.W. and LNHN rely solely on donations from the community to carry out its mission. 

For more information on LNHN or CHOW, contact Kacie Schmidt, Livingston Township Social Worker, at 973-535-7961, ext 231; email LNHN directly at LNHN07039@gmail.com or connect on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LNHN07039