Fines help hungry

“Through the month of October, anyone who has a ticket for a minor parking violation can waive their fine by helping to feed someone in need. The Food for Fines program is a food drive hosted by the University of Akron Parking Services to support the Akron-Canton Regional Food Bank.”

Through the month of October, anyone who has a ticket for a minor parking violation can waive their fine by helping to feed someone in need.

The Food for Fines program is a food drive hosted by the University of Akron Parking Services to support the Akron-Canton Regional Food Bank.

Bob Neylon, a biology major, introduced the program to the parking services department.

The library has been doing a food drive for book fines for a long time, Neylon said, I just borrowed the idea for Parking Services.

Head of Parking Services Jim Stafford said they chose the Akron-Canton Regional Food Bank because the organization is close to home.

Stafford also said the program has changed throughout its lifespan at Parking Services.

The program ‘s response has decreased since its start four years ago, he said.

I got the idea to do it all year, but people started taking advantage of it, Stafford said. People would just leave tickets wrapped around cans of food and not even come in to take care of it.

Now we just do it once a semester.

While feeding others with donated food, the program will also aid many students with parking tickets.

One food item is good for a $5 credit, with a $25 max per person.

Neylon, has been working as an office assistant in parking services for the past eight years.

Students seem to like the idea of being able to utilize a canned-food drive to help clear tickets, Neylon said. The program was introduced for the first time in December of 2003, and raised more than 1,700 lbs of food in its first six months.

I think it’s a good way to get people to donate, Freshman Jackie Oser said.

According to Neylon, the department writes between 50-60 tickets on campus daily between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.

Some students appreciated the convenience and thoughtfulness of the program.

You might as well help someone else while you help yourself, junior Megan Boyer said.

Staff and faculty may utilize the Food for Fines program for any minor parking violation no matter how old the ticket.

Violations include failure to display a permit, expired parking meters and blocking a drive or loading zone, among other frequently ticketed offenses.

Stafford said The Food for Fines program does not apply to major fines.

Serious things like parking in a handicapped spot or the fire lane are not included, he said. We have absolutely no flexibility when it comes to that, partly because the school can get fined if we do.

As well, he said the program is only good for one ticket a semester.

Don’t come in if you’ve got five tickets thinking your going to use this to clear all of them, he said. We deal with people on an individual basis so you may be able to get tickets waived in other ways, but for this program it’s one per semester.

Parking Services is open between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday-Friday, and is located on the Buchtel Ave. level of the North Campus Parking Deck.

For more information about Food for Fines call (330)-972-7213.