Today I would like to congratulate the ACT government for the Food for Fines program. Under this program the ACT government decided that, instead of charging late fines for overdue library books, the library would accept canned food donations to support OzHarvest Canberra to feed those less fortunate.
I have spoken before about the great work done by OzHarvest for my local community. OzHarvest collects perishable food from Canberra businesses, corporate offices and restaurants. This food is then provided to charities to feed refugees, the homeless, the aged and women and youth in crisis. The Food for Fines program was a huge success over the Christmas period. In lieu of every $2 in fees, library goers were encouraged to donate one can. The program resulted in 3,000 kilograms of food being donated in December, bringing the total amount of food donated for that month to a record 16,000 kilograms.
Many Canberrans who did not have outstanding library fines also donated generously to the Food for Fines program. The outstanding support of Canberrans for OzHarvest has resulted in over 700,000 meals to our community, particularly to those most in need, since February 2008.