Help the food bank, help yourself

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Utah Valley University Parking & Transportation Services is teaming up with the Utah Food Bank for its annual Food for Fines event, giving students the chance to donate canned food items in exchange for reduced late fees from parking citations.

For every can of food donated to the Food Bank through Parking & Transportation Services from Nov. 2 through Dec. 31, $1 will be deducted from a ticket’s late fee.

“We try to help the students by allowing them to help the community,” said Tena Medina, office manager of Parking & Transportation Services. “And, at the same time, they can help themselves by reducing their late fees.”

Almost every student who has received a parking citation is familiar with the costs that can accumulate if the ticket goes unpaid. Usually, if the ticket is paid within the first 10 calendar days the cost of the ticket is $10. However, if the student doesn’t pay the ticket within the time given, the fine doubles. For this reason, many students look forward to the time of year when they can donate canned food items to reduce the late fees.

“This is the most important time of year to give to the Food Bank,” said Medina. “Hopefully, students will feel the holiday spirit and donate the food.”

Last year, Parking & Transportation Services collected 2500 pounds of food from students who took advantage of this exchange. Only canned food items that have not expired will be accepted for the reduced late fees. Because Parking & Transportation Services is a drop-off location for the Utah Food Bank, they also welcome boxed food items, such as macaroni and cheese, ramen noodles, stuffing and cereal as donations that will not count toward the reduced late fees.

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