Donate Canned Goods To Help Pay Parking Fines In Tampa This Holiday Season

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By Cooking Panda

A program in Tampa, Florida, will aim to help those in need while lessening the sting of paying a parking ticket this holiday season.

According to WTVT, Tampa City Councilman Guido Maniscalco hopes to start “Food for Fines” to allow residents to pay for a portion of their parking tickets with donations to a food bank. For each food item, up to 15 items, one dollar will be deducted from their fine.

“The hope would be to help people come into compliance, pay that ticket, but knowing they could participate in this type of program would be a better incentive where everybody feels good,” explained Maniscalco, as noted by Bright News Networks. “They’re helping somebody; they’re not just paying the fine and then moving on.”

Although the logistics still need to be determined, the donations acquired from the program may go to Feeding Tampa Bay’s headquarters, as reported by WTVT. Donations sent to the headquarters daily are sent throughout the bay area to reach about 700,000 residents, one third of whom live in Tampa.

“In 2016, it’s truly pathetic that we’re even discussing world hunger, or even at the local stage with all the amenities that we have at our fingertips,” Maniscalco said. “So in order to combat this, or at least help in some way, I think this would be a good start.”

Officials at the food donation organization support the incentive.

“We absolutely have the resources to pick up those food items in a timely manner and distribute out to local partner agencies,” stated Joyce Endaya of Feeding Tampa Bay.

Before the program is underway, some council members want to make sure the program is beneficial to the city as well as its underprivileged residents.

“It’s a well-Intentioned program. I love the idea, but we need to work out the details so that what it’s costing the city to run the program isn’t more than the value of the food that we’re providing to the public,” said Councilwoman Lisa Montelione.

Maniscalco believes the city would lose about $6,000 of the $1.6 million the city receives in parking fines.

Similar programs have been established in other cities in Florida, New York, and Kentucky with much success.

“I think it’s a very compassionate thing,” Maniscalco said. “It’s a win-win.”

Sources: WTVT, Bright News Networks / Photo credit: WTVT

Tags: food donations, Food for Fines, parking tickets, Tampa
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