Library’s ‘Food for Fines’ set to kick off, will assist MLK Jr’s Canned Food Drive

The 16th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Canned Food Drive is underway once again and will run through Monday, January 18th 2016. The public is asked to donate canned and non-perishable food donations at several locations throughout El Paso. The food will then be sorted and distributed to organizations that serve the less fortunate.

In conjunction with the MLK Canned Food Drive, El Paso Public Library will give their patrons the opportunity to pay down their fines by donating canned and non-perishable food to feed the less fortunate.

Library Director, Dionne Mack, said, “This is a great opportunity for our customers to return their overdue materials and pay all their fines with goods they probably have around the house. A few cans of green beans or soup will go to good use and allow the patron to have their borrowing privileges reinstated so they can start using the library again.”

From January 2 through January 16, 2016, EPPL will reduce library fines by $1 for every can of food donated up to $5 per day provided that library books and materials have been returned in good condition.

The food collected will then be donated to the 16th Annual MLK Canned Food Drive to support area agencies that serve the hungry. Since its inception, the MLK Canned Food Drive has collected an estimated 260 tons of food.

The MLK Canned Food Drive is project of the City of El Paso, and other like-minded community partners, in honor of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. District 4 Representative, Carl Robinson has been the MLK Committee Chair since the program’s inception in 2001. The project began in through a grant from the Corporation for National Service to create a project honoring Dr. King’s legacy.

The idea is to encourage people to volunteer on the third Monday in January to help make their communities a better place to live by serving others as Dr. King did throughout his life.

The Food Drive will help alleviate the hunger that an estimated that 1 in 3 children in El Paso struggle with every day. Hunger makes it more difficult for kids to stay engaged and focused on activities important to their development such as studying.

The food collected as part of the Food for Fines program, as well as that collected through the MLK Canned Food Drive, will be used to replenish depleted pantries of organizations that serve the less fortunate.

Collection Sites: Big 8 Stores, Walmart Neighborhood Markets, Walmart Super Centers, Vista Quality Markets, Horizon Vista Food Stores, Montana Vista Food Store, Vista Central Supermarket, Public Libraries, City Hall, County Courthouse, El Paso Juvenile Justice Center, County Sheriff’s Downtown Jail, Headquarters and Annex.

Beneficiaries: Salvation Army, Opportunity Center for the Homeless, Center Against Family Violence, La Fe Montana Vista Community & Satellite Resource Center, La Posada Home, El Paso Villa Maria, La Familia Del Paso, Reynolds Home, Recovery Alliance, YWCA Transitional Living Center, El Paso Rescue Mission.

For more information call 543-5468 or visit