Courtney Dickson, Roving Editor Ω
For the ninth year, the library is partnering with TRUSU to fill the food bank and keep money in students’ pockets. Now through April 27, students who have incurred fines for overdue books from the TRU Library can waive those fines by donating non-perishable food items to Food For Fines.
“It’s a win-win for everybody. We get our books back, students don’t have to pay fines and TRUSU wins,” said Kathy Gaynor, TRU library director.
Each item donated will count for $2 worth of fines. So, if a student has $8 in fines, only four items are needed to wipe those from his or her record.
In past years, the library has been able to waive more than $500 in fines to faculty and students.
“Last year we had to scramble to get more boxes to fill,” Gaynor said.
All food donated will be put into the TRUSU food bank. Any food donated at the Williams Lake campus will go into their community food bank, as TRUSU does not represent that campus.
TRUSU president Dustin McIntyre is ecstatic about the partnership between the TRUSU food bank and the library.
“It’s fantastic. The food bank is an integral part of the services we offer here,” he said.
Because students are often low on funding during this time of year, McIntyre said it is extremely important that the food bank continues to be stocked.
“I think our food bank is just as busy now as it would be at the beginning of September. Students are dependent on the food bank, end of the semester especially, when they’re unable to work as much or money has run out from student loans,” he said. “We’re talking about a month here where students are unable to afford food.”
“We found there was a greater uptake by students at the end of the academic year. The TRUSU food bank gets a lot of attention at Christmas time, we wanted to make sure the food bank was stocked up for September and onwards,” Gaynor said.
Gaynor is excited about the initiative because she said the library staff doesn’t enjoy collecting fines from people.
“The issue is not the money,” she said. “We just want our books back. We’re not in the business for making money off fines.”
Students and faculty at the Kamloops campus can take their food donations to the old library or to the House of Learning library Monday to Thursday between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m., Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. Williams Lake campus students can drop theirs off at their library during its hours of operation.