Oh, we hate parking tickets, and all that money? Where does it actually go? Usually, it helps with the roads, lights, and other bills the city has. One city is taking a different approach when ticketing people for violations, and not asking for a payment you double-parked junkie if you live in Lexington, Kentucky.
You don’t have to stroke a check, but you need to donate to the local food pantry this holiday season for the “Food for Fines” program. In turn, people will get a $15 dollar credit when you donate 10 canned goods. The program started two years ago, and some universities already have been implementing the idea to help stock local pantries.
Today.com spoke with The Lexington Parking Authority , and uncovered that over 6,000 cans of food were given to the program in 2014, a value of $14,500 in citations.
It gets better-- the fines are limited to parking meters said LexPark executive Gary Means.
"We had heard of a couple of universities doing food for fines, but the city we patterned our idea off was Boston-- they've done toys for tickets. We hope by opening the program up to all types of citations, we'll see the numbers increase."
All donations will go to God’s Pantry Food Bank, and CEO Marian Guinn said it’s a perfect way to give back this time of year.
“During this time of year when lots of Lexingtonians are looking to give back to their community, it’s wonderful to see organizations like LEXPARK engage with our Food Bank in creative ways to fight hunger and deliver hope, " said Guinn.
"These canned food items will help stock the shelves of our four Lexington Pantry locations which help feed hungry Fayette County families year round. One expired parking meter ticket could mean two meals for hungry Fayette County families.”
According to Feeding America and government data 46.7 million people are in poverty in America, and 21 percent are children who are under the age of 18. The site reported that “48.1 million Americans lived in food insecure households, including 32.8 million adults and 15.3 million children.”
Kentucky ranked fourth in the nation in food insecurity with 17.5 percent behind Louisiana, Mississippi, and Arkansas, which topped the list. People tend to give more during the holidays, but the problem is food pantries need donations all year, something we all need to think about."When you string up your holiday lights next week, remember that 69 percent of Feeding America households report choosing between paying for utilities and paying for food in the past year, with 34 percent reporting making this choice every month," Feeding America shared.
The Lexington Herald-Leader reported that food for citations will be collected through Dec.18.