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Pay off CMU parking tickets by donating food


The Central Michigan University Student Food Pantry logo. 

This week a collaborative food drive on campus, "Food for Fines," is offering students the opportunity to pay off their parking ticket fines by donating nonperishable food items. 

In a collaborative effort between Central Michigan University Police Department and the new CMU Student Food Pantry, Food for Fines will take place Dec. 3-7. 

The idea for Food for Fines was sparked through a variety of different sources.

"Some other universities who have student food pantries have done similar programs," said the Student Food Pantry's graduate student assistant, Kourtney Koch. "President (Robert) Davies actually suggested it, and our parking services and police staff all suggested it in separate ways."

Students can drop off non-perishable food items to the CMUPD/Parking Services office, located at 1720 E. Campus Dr., anytime between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Depending on what items are donated, more "money" can be earned to go towards parking tickets. 

The donated food will be divided into categories to determine their financial equivalent. Items from a higher category will provide students with more money to pay off ticket fees. 

Category one - $5 for three of the following items 

  • Canned veggies 
  • Canned fruit 
  • Boxed macaroni and cheese 
  • Packages of spaghetti noodles 

Category two - $10 for two of the following items 

  • Pancake mix 
  • Boxed cereal 
  • Syrup 
  • Chunky soup 
  • Jar of spaghetti sauce 

Category three - $15 for one of the following items

  • Six-Pack of paper towels 
  • Six-Pack toilet paper 

The value of unlisted items will be determined at drop off.

Koch said the credit for amount of food students donate may not exceed $35 and only parking tickets that were given after Nov. 19 apply for food exchange. 

Located in the lower level of Robinson Residence Hall, the food pantry works to eliminate any challenges CMU students with financial hardships have when it comes to food insecurity. 

The Student Food Pantry held their first food distribution on Nov. 27, and Koch said this food drive will increase the inventory for the second distribution on Dec. 11.