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Want to Fight Hunger, AND Not Pay for Parking Tickets? Kentucky Has the Perfect Solution…

This autumn, the people of Lexington, Kentucky are parking illegally to fight hunger! Through the city’s “Food for Fines” program — which runs November 16 to December 18 of 2015 — the city’s parking authority, LexPark, will allow parking citation recipients to donate canned food rather than cash to pay their ticket. The donations will go to local food pantries to feed hungry families when they need it the most.

Seems kind of like we should be doing this everywhere.

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Photo Credit: Africa Studio via Shutterstock

This is the second year in a row Fayette County’s LexPark has forfeited their profits to help its community’s most impoverished citizens, and this year the agency is expanding the program to include tickets received from Lexington’s police department.

Generous parking violators will receive a $15 credit toward their citation for each set of ten (10) undamaged, non-expired cans they turn in — multiple violators may bring in ten cans per ticket — which will be donated directly to one of four God’s Pantry Food Bank locations in Lexington.

Photo Credit: Seattle Summer Parkways via Facebook

Photo Credit: Seattle Summer Parkways via Facebook (image not associated with “Food for Fines” program)

Each turned-around parking ticket could yield two meals for an entire family — LexPark advises “large cans with vegetables and proteins,” according to the Associated Press.

Last year, the agency received 6,200 cans! That’s over 1,200 family meals for hungry Lexington families, all from people who parked in a loading zone or let their meters run out. Imagine how many people we could feed if we decided to do this all year in every town…

Until then, if you happen to be in Lexington, Kentucky this season, use that meter money to buy some beans and corn, and (for the first time ever) feel grateful when you see that citation stuck to your windshield — you’re feeding the hungry!

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Matthew M. Sullivan holds a bachelor's degree in creative writing from Grand Valley State University, with emphases in fiction and nonfiction. He lives smack-dab between some railroad tracks and Grand Rapids Michigan's third-busiest road, and spends his time studying film and literary fiction.