~si_Food - Ashley Moffatt

While the final weeks of school wrap up and the stress subsides, students have the opportunity to be generous with their late library fees.

The Algonquin library is starting its annual food for fines drive. Students can donate non-perishable food items in exchange for one dollar off of late fees.

Travis Winwood, a library technician with the college, explained that the drive now benefits the Algonquin Food Cupboard. In past years, they donated the money to the Ottawa food bank.

“I think last year we had a couple hundred items,” said Winwood. “It’s a nice opportunity for students’ with any outstanding fines to pay it off while donating to the food cupboard.”

Even though e-texts are available, Winwood said that they are not expecting a decrease in donations.

Skye Sullivan, Food Cupboard co-ordinator, explained the importance of programs such as these.

“We supply students who are in need of a three-to-five day supply of food,” said Sullivan. “As we all know, college can be very expensive. There are people coming in to college where it might be their second time around, or they have kids and families to support.  Even just single students who are just trying to make it on a budget. So they’re able to come here and that’s going to alleviate them from stressing about how they’re going to eat that week.”

Students who don’t have late fees are also encouraged to help donate in any way that they can.

“They could possibly do their own food drive,” said Sullivan. “Or if they’re holding an event, if it’s a free event, maybe they’ll ask people to bring a non-perishable food item in order to contribute. There are things within their program or within their faculty they can collect donations from.”

The Food Cupboard is open year-round, but as Sullivan explained, the holidays are a time for giving.

“We are really hoping that with the Christmas season that people will open up their hearts and be generous,” said Sullivan.