Linebaugh Public Library System encourages canned food donations with ‘Food for Fines’ week

Photo by Eric Goodwin / MTSU Sidelines

The Linebaugh Public Library System is waiving certain library fines in exchange for canned food as part of “Food for Fines” week, an LPLS initiative that seeks to collect donations for food banks around Middle Tennessee. The initiative began on Oct. 15 and will continue until Oct. 21.

All branches of the library system are participating in Food for Fines week. For every can donated, $1 will be waived in fines. This does not extend to damages, referral fees and lost items, according to Carol Ghattas, the branch librarian of Linebaugh’s Murfreesboro location.

Ghattas said that the event used to be held in April but has been expanded to two weeks during April and October.

“It’s really because there’s need, especially when you look at October,” Ghattas said. “Thanksgiving is coming up. There’s a lot of need for canned goods.”

Donations from Linebaugh Library on West Vine Street and from Myrtle Glanton Lord Library at the Patterson Park Community Center on Mercury Boulevard will go toward The Salvation Army. Smyrna and Eagleville’s libraries will be donating the food to their respective food banks.

“We take the cans and then give those to the organizations,” Ghattas said. “So, the people that are homeless or the people who are maybe down on their luck can find a place to get some food that they need.”

For those without a library card, signing up for one is free. Anyone interested in obtaining one can go to one of the LPLS libraries with a photo ID and proof of residence, Ghattas said. For those interested only in using digital material, e-cards are available online.

According to the USDA, about 15 percent of Tennessee households are food insecure. A food insecure household means the household is “uncertain of having, or unable to acquire, enough food to meet the needs of all their members because they had insufficient money or other resources for food.”

Although Food for Fines only asks for unopened, nonperishable canned goods, The Salvation Army of Murfreesboro welcomes other forms of donations, year-round. Donations can be dropped off at the facility at 1137 West Main Street. For more information about what to donate, visit here.

To contact News Editor Andrew Wigdor, email

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