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Maricopa County offering to waive library fines in exchange for food

PHOENIX — If you live in Maricopa County and have been on the tardy side when it comes to return your library books, it’s time to head to the grocery story.

“If you bring in a non-perishable food, like a canned food item, for every one of those you bring in, you can get $2 off your library fines, up to $50 per account,” Maricopa County Library District spokesman Andrew Tucker said.

The deal is part of the county’s annual Food for Fines program that is designed to let people wipe out fines while increasing the stores of food banks.

“This is a great time for you to be able to help out the community by donating food that goes to your local food bank, but also freeing up that library account for yourself or your children,” Tucker said.

Since the program began two years ago, the county has forgiven more than $67,000 in fines.

Tucker said the food banks have a great need at this time of year for food.

“Always in-demand items include things like peanut butter and jelly, mac and cheese, tuna fish, cereal and canned vegetables.”

Fines are about $1 per day for DVDs or Blu-Rays and about 20 cents a day for books.

The program runs now through Saturday.

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