Behind the wheel, Sarah Harrison of the GVPL gets ready to load food donations from co-workers Lara Reynolds (middle) and Gabriela Premat-Wainer (right) during 2016’s Food For Fines. The campaign returns this year, Oct. 28 and 29 to help out local service agencies with the donation of non-perishable food items.

Behind the wheel, Sarah Harrison of the GVPL gets ready to load food donations from co-workers Lara Reynolds (middle) and Gabriela Premat-Wainer (right) during 2016’s Food For Fines. The campaign returns this year, Oct. 28 and 29 to help out local service agencies with the donation of non-perishable food items.

Food For Fines a win/win

GVPL campaign removes financial barriers to using the library, while donating to food banks

The Greater Victoria Public Library wants to do you a favour, but you’ve got to pay it forward.

In partnership with food banks across the region, the GVPL will waive overdue fines – up to $5 per cardholder – when you donate items of non-perishable food, Oct. 28 and 29 during their fall campaign, Food For Fines.

GVPL communications officer Jessica Woollard says all 11 branches are participating, and while Central traditionally gets the biggest load, each of the library’s locations makes a sizable delivery to a local organization.

“We get an incredible amount of food, it’s really amazing what people come in with,” Woollard says. Last year library staff reached Mustard Seed just in time to replenish empty shelves; as the weather gets colder and wetter, this is the time of year when donations are most needed.

October is BC Library Month, designed to celebrate libraries and encourage people to learn and explore. Food For Fines bookends the month’s events as a way to support the community while removing a financial barrier to using the library.

“If fines are what are holding you back, we want to invite you back to use the library,” Woollard says.

kristyn.anthony@vicnews.com