Food for Fines Program at MPL

Make a difference and participate in MPL's “Food for Fines program as it teams up with Toni's Kitchen Backpack Program starting Nov. 13!

Montclair Public Library allows food donations in exchange for fines 

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Photo courtesy of Montclair Public Library.

On Nov. 13, it marks the beginning of American Education Week. Montclair Public Library will mark the occasion by offering a “Food for Fines” program from Nov.13 through 23. Food collected will be donated to Toni’s Kitchen Backpack Program.

The“Food for Fines” program’s main purpose is to encourage patrons to return overdue items, renew their library card, and continue using the library’s resources.

Dawn Quinn, Borrower Services Supervisor, believes that the program would also help increase circulation.

The “Food for Fines” program will operate as follows: any library patron who donates one non-perishable food item will have $1.00 deducted from their overdue library fine balance. There is no limit to the number of donations and no limit to the reduction in fines patrons can receive. The “Food for Fines” program, however, does not apply to lost items or to fines owed to other libraries.

American Education Week is an ideal time for the program as it helps to celebrate public education by ensuring that each child, in addition to receiving a quality education, also eats healthily.

Toni’s Kitchen Backpack Program is in its third year of utilizing backpacks to provide healthy foods to over 600 Montclair families on a weekly basis. Foods suitable for the program include: peanut butter; canned tuna, salmon or chicken; canned fruits, vegetables, and beans; trail mix (nuts and raisins); oatmeal; pasta; rice and spaghetti.

Patrons are asked to present their library card at the time of each transaction. If their card has expired, they can obtain a new one with proper identification.

For more information, call 973-744-0500 ext. 2232 or email

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