Bronxville Library Collects For Westchester Food Bank

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Bronxville librarian Christine Utchel said the "Food for Fines" program has been successfully hosted by libraires throughout Westchester. Photo Credit: Paul Bufano

BRONXVILLE N.Y. - The Bronxville Public Library is hosting a program that asks library-goers to pay their late fines with food instead of money in an effort to help feed hungry families this holiday season.

The "Food for Fines" program will be implemented from Dec. 1-15, with all collections going to the Food Bank for Westchester. A can or box of food is worth $1 worth of fines, with a maximum of $5 per person that may be applied.

The program first came about after a trip to Westchester Community College, said librarian and program director Christine Utchel.

"The library has adopted many programs in the past, but I felt that this one was special," Utchel said. "I hope that we get a lot of food, especially after Hurricane Sandy hurt so many families  The program has a lot of potential, so I really hope to get the word out."

Many Bronxville residents, including Odette Tin-Aung, agree people who have the ability to help should give when they can

"I didn't even know that the library was doing something like this," said Tin-Aung. "I like to donate money to places like the Red Cross, so I never thought of donating caned foods. It's good to have a place nearby that you know wants to help people in need."

The program was adopted with the goal of bringing food to the people who need it most, Utchel said.

"What we're doing is in the spirit of the holidays," she said. "It's good to have a coordinated effort, and because we have the ability to help we feel that it's our responsibility to do so. In the end, it's about making a difference."

The library is asking for the following items: stuffing mix, cranberry sauce, cornbread mix, boxed macaroni and cheese, canned soup, canned green beans, mixed vegetables, canned tuna, canned sweet potatoes, canned dried fruit and boxed pasta and rice. 

For more information, call the Bronxville Public Library at (914) 337-7680.

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