Food for Fines

October 19 - 28, 2018


In partnership with Harvesters: The Community Food Network, the Kansas City Public Library announces its annual Food for Fines Week from Friday, Oct. 19 through Sunday, Oct. 28.

During this period, Library patrons are encouraged to bring undamaged and unexpired boxed or canned non-perishable food items to any Library location. Each single food item will be applied as a $1 credit toward the reduction of existing overdue fines.

All food will be donated to Harvesters, Kansas City's largest area food bank —established in 1979 and currently networking with 620 nonprofit agencies throughout a 26-county direct service area that includes assistance for emergency food pantries, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, children's homes, homes for the mentally disabled, and shelters for battered persons.

Food for Fines Week demonstrates the Library's commitment to community by reaching out and providing service throughout the metropolitan area.

Most-needed items include canned meat, peanut butter, canned fruit, canned vegetables, and boxed meals. Non-nutritional beverages such as soda, as well as any beverages in glass or plastic containers will not be accepted. Dented cans will not be accepted. The Food for Fines program is only applicable to Library overdue fines. No other fees are eligible.


What is Food for Fines?

Food for Fines is an annual KCPL program that allows Library patrons to trade one nonperishable food item for one dollar in existing fines on their Library accounts.

Which fines/fees are forgiven?

Non-perishable food items may be used for KCPL accounts with existing overdue fines. Only overdue fines are eligible for this program.

Which fines/fees cannot be forgiven?

Referral fees, lost or damaged item fees, replacement Library card fee, printing fees, flash drives, ear buds, Friends of the Library books for sale, Friends of the Library memberships, lost items owned by Consortium Libraries, lost items that are Interlibrary Loans.

Which food items are acceptable?

Non-perishable food items in cans, boxes, or plastic containers, household and personal care items that are unopened. Pet food in boxes or cans. No glass containers may be accepted.

Examples of acceptable items:

  • Canned vegetables
  • Boxed dinners
  • Canned juices
  • Peanut butter
  • Soap
  • Deodorant
  • Shampoo
  • Toilet tissue
  • Facial tissues
  • Paper towels
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Ramen noodles (4 packages of Ramen noodles equals one dollar in fines)
  • Items in multi-packs are acceptable at $1 per item (i.e. A four-pack of paper towels equals $4 in forgiven fines)
  • Bottled water in 8 oz. or greater containers.
  • SlimFast and other diet drinks
  • Government-issued food, i.e. peanut butter, welfare items, etc.

Examples of NON-acceptable items:

  • Perishable food items
  • Glass containers of any kind
  • Soda pop
  • Candy and/or gum
  • Cardboard drink containers
  • Drink pouches
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Items in damaged/rusty/open containers
  • Items WITHOUT a nutrition label
  • Items with a past due expiration date
  • Homemade or home-canned items
  • Travel size containers of personal care items, i.e. toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, hand lotion, etc.

Who gets the food?

Harvesters—The Community Food Network

What is Harvesters and what does it do with the food?

Harvesters is Kansas City’s only food bank and was organized in 1979. Harvesters provides essential food resources for a network of over 620 charitable agencies such as emergency food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, day care centers and senior centers in 26 counties. Further information about Harvesters is available at or by calling 816.929.3000.

Can I donate even if I don’t have any fines?


Can the Library credit my account for future fines?

No. Food for Fines is only for EXISTING fines on a Library account.