San Mateo libraries forgive fines for food

Library delinquents in San Mateo County have a chance this holiday season to redeem themselves with charitable food donations, library officials announced Monday.

Starting on Nov. 16, outstanding fines will be waved for donations of nonperishable boxed or canned food to any of the 12 branches in Atherton, Belmont, Brisbane, East Palo Alto, Foster City, Half Moon Bay, Millbrae, Pacifica, Portola Valley, San Carlos or Woodside.

City libraries in Burlingame, Daly City, Redwood City, San Mateo and South San Francisco are also waiving fines and fees for food donations, according to county library officials.

All donations go to the Second Harvest Food Bank for Santa Clara and San Mateo counties.

County supervisor Carole Groom said in a statement:

“There is a growing need for feeding the hungry in San Mateo County. …┬áThis is a wonderful opportunity to provide food for those in need in our community, while clearing up fines and resuming greater use of our outstanding library system.”

Second Harvest distributes more than 45.5 million pounds of food every year and last year the library program collected over 36,000 pounds of food — enough to feed 1,400 families for a week, library officials said.

The donation drive lasts until Dec. 31.