For Immediate Release
May 29, 2019
Library patrons donated enough food to provide nearly 27,000 meals
SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF. – The results of Santa Clara County Library District’s 2019 amnesty program for library fines and fees are in, with another huge haul of food items collected for Second Harvest Food Bank of San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties. Over the course of the month of April and the first five days of May, 32,280 pounds of canned and boxed food items were donated by local residents at SCCLD’s eight libraries and Bookmobile, some of it from patrons with nothing owed.
“Once again, we want to thank the residents of Santa Clara County who stepped up to help their neighbors through Food for Fines,” said County Librarian Nancy Howe. “We are also very pleased to see thousands of our patrons returning to the library with a clean slate.”
6,402 patrons had their fines and fees waived through Food for Fines, with more than 5,100 returning to a zero balance and 91% of participants regaining full library privileges. In all, SCCLD waived over $130,000 in outstanding fines or fees. Taken together with last year’s inaugural offering of the program, 34 tons of food has been collected for families and individuals in need and 14,338 patrons had fines/fees waived.
“Food for Fines is like peanut butter and jelly,” said County Supervisor and Library Joint Powers Authority Board Chairman, Mike Wasserman. “We have been able to bring together two important goals - providing sustenance to local families and restoring library users’ full privileges - into one fantastic combination.”
Roughly one in four Santa Clara County residents is at risk for food insecurity. Nearly 100 million meals are estimated to have been missed among local households over the past year. Programs SCCLD offers including Food for Fines and Lunch at the Library help fill this gap. The timing of the initiative is particularly important, as it helps Second Harvest build up its stores in preparation for summer. This is when school is out and only one out of six children in the subsidized school meal program has access.
About the Santa Clara County Library District
The Santa Clara County Library District (SCCLD) promotes knowledge, ideas, and cultural enrichment. Its collection includes more than 2 million books, videos, CDs, DVDs, Audiobooks, eBooks and extensive online resources accessible from home or work. In 2014, SCCLD celebrated one hundred years of service to local residents. For the last eleven years, SCCLD has been consistently recognized as one of America’s Star Libraries by Library Journal. In 2018, SCCLD was ranked among the top ten large libraries in the United States in the Library Journal Index of Public Library Service. In 2014 and 2015, SCCLD won Innovator Awards from the Urban Libraries Council.
SCCLD includes two bookmobiles, an online library, seven community libraries and one branch library serving Campbell, Cupertino, Gilroy, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Milpitas, Monte Sereno, Morgan Hill, Saratoga and the unincorporated areas of Santa Clara County. In 2018, SCCLD had nearly 370,000 library account holders and welcomed 3.3 million visitors who borrowed 9.85 million items.
Nancy Howe/Diane Roche/Erik Sanjurjo
Santa Clara County Library District
(408) 293-2326 ext. 3001/3080/3014