Monmouthshire’s community hubs and libraries are to offer residents a 19-day amnesty for non-returned books and DVDs in return for donations to local food banks.

The Food for Fines amnesty takes place from Monday 10th to Saturday 29th April and will support local food banks run by the Trussel Trust at Chepstow, Abergavenny and Monmouth as well as Caldicot’s Ravenhouse Trust facility.  The food banks are grateful for any donations but UHT milk, sugar, tinned products, dried food like pasta and noodles, instant mash, coffee and even Easter eggs will be particularly welcomed.  In addition, customers are asked to donate toilet rolls and washing powder.

Customers making food donations will be directed to the community hub front desk where a member of staff will delete the fine from the customer’s account on receipt of a donation.  Those who wish to pay fines will be able to do so, either by contacting a member of staff or using self-service machines.

Monmouthshire’s Chief Executive Paul Matthews said: “In an ideal world food banks would not be necessary and they would not exist. Unfortunately we do not live in an ideal world and they really help individuals and families when they need it most. We hope our Food for Fines initiative will boost this important offer and it is really easy for residents to participate. Clearly we get our books back and we help to direct extra stock towards the food banks. Late book returners will be welcomed and will be contributing to the wider social good. Of course this is optional – if you would prefer to pay your fine we will not object, but we would still like our books back please.”

Monmouthshire’s community hub staff will review the initiative in May.  For further details contact Community Hub Manager Richard Drinkwater – richarddrinkwater@monmouthshire.gov.uk