Food for Fines

From March 18th through March 31st, the South Portland Public Library is sponsoring Food for Fines, a fines amnesty program to benefit the South Portland Food Cupboard.  During this period, library users may bring in donations of food and other items and the library will excuse any late fees on their library account.  Donations may be brought to the Main or Branch libraries during regular library hours.

All donations will be passed on to the South Portland Food Cupboard, a 100% volunteer, ecumenical food pantry dedicated to alleviating hunger by providing supplemental food to the needy of South Portland, Cape Elizabeth, Scarborough, and surrounding communities.  The South Portland Food Cupboard serves over 700 people a month.

Here’s how Food for Fines works:

  • All fines will be waived for items brought to the library. The Food Cupboard requests that we collect items from the list below, particularly those with the asterisk (*) but will accept any other item as long as the expiration date is current.
  • Donations will be collected at the Main and Branch libraries beginning March 18th through March 31st.
  • This amnesty program is for overdue fines only and does not apply to library materials that have been lost or damaged.
  • Previously opened items, home-canned items, cans that are past their expiration date or are dented or damaged, or cans with bar codes that have been lined or scratched through will not be accepted.
  • No items will be accepted through the book drop. Donations must take place in person during regular library hours.
  • More than one food item may be donated per person and patrons are encouraged to donate as much as possible, even if they do not have fines.
  • Questions about the program or about the South Portland Food Cupboard can be directed to Sybil Riemensnider at 874-0379.

The following items are needed by the South Portland Food Cupboard:


  • Baked beans *
  • Canned 15 oz. fruit *
  • Jelly/Jam *
  • Macaroni and cheese *
  • Mayonnaise*
  • Pancake mix *
  • Spaghetti sauce *
  • Tuna fish *
  • Canned diced tomatoes, 15.5 oz.
  • Canned tomato sauce, 14.5 oz.
  • Canned 15 oz. vegetables, including green
  • beans,corn, cream corn
  • Coffee, 1lb. cans
  • Corn flakes
  • Chicken noodle soup
  • Crisped rice cereal
  • Toasted oats
  • Tomato soup

* Items with an asterisk are particularly needed

The South Portland Food Pantry also supplies clients with shampoo, toothpaste, bath soap and deodorant. These items will also be accepted at the library as part of the Food for Fines program.

For more information about the Food for Fines program, call 767-7660 x 2.

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