Pay off court fees with canned food

VALLEY CENTER, Kan. (KSNW) - Wipe away those court fees with canned goods!

The City of Valley Center started a new program called "Food for Fines," which reduces court fees while helping those in need.

If you have any outstanding fines or warrant fees, bring in a non-perishable food item. It would forgive $5 off your fine. The maximum amount that can be forgiven is $50 per person.

"There are people in certain financial situations. It's a hardship for them to have to make the monthly payments," explained Valley Center City Administrator Scott Hildebrand.

According to city officials, the municipal court has 547 open cases. For 2018, the court has $91,559.64 in outstanding debt.

The court clerk said she's seen that amount increase over the years and started looking at how other cities handle the debt.

"This is really kind of a way to help them out, and get some of these funds off the books for the city," Hildebrand said.

All of the food donations go to the Valley Center Food Pantry sponsored by the Ministerial Alliance.

"November and December are hot months for a lot of use of that food pantry, and it drains resources," said Hildebrand. "This is a way the city can help rejuvenate the resources."

Food for Fines runs until February 28. 

To learn more about the program, visit the city's website.


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