Donate food to pay off parking tickets


By Noah Johnson

Parking Services announced their second Food for Fines campaign in a press release for the week of August 26. The proceeds from the campaign will be donated to The Huskie Food Pantry.

The campaign will allow NIU community members to pay for one parking ticket issued between August 26 and September 6 in exchange for a donation of 5 or more non-perishable food items, according to the Parking Services webpage. Donations will be accepted from August 26 to September 13 at the Parking Services office. Their office hours are from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Expired food items will not be accepted.

{{tncms-inline alignment=”right” content=”<p>Parking Services allows the following kinds of citations to be paid for by donating:</p> <ul> <li>No NIU Registration</li> <li>Permit Not Valid For Lot</li> <li>Improper Display Of Permit</li> <li>Improper Parking</li> <li>Overtime Meter</li> <li>Failure To Remove Old Permit</li> <li>Transferable Permit Not Displayed</li> <li>Visitor Fee</li> <li>Flashers Required</li> </ul>” id=”408c2ebc-ae98-42d6-83a5-add39b90d945″ style-type=”info” title=”More Information” type=”relcontent”}}

“Our Parking Manager Sue Bidstrup read about another school that did the program, and she thought it was kind of neat, suggesting that we give it a try. So we gave it a try and we wanted to give it another one,” Director of Campus Services Laura Lundelius said.

Last year’s Food for Fines created problems for those who had already paid for parking tickets prior to the week of donation and could not be refunded, Lundelius said.

In an attempt to mitigate these kinds of problems this year, Lundelius said Parking Services only allows participants to pay for tickets issued during the donation period rather than prior to it.

Despite last year’s program being a trial run, the donations received were still valuable, Lundelius said.

“It wasn’t as popular as we thought it would be, but just being able to collect something and give it back to the [Huskie Food] Pantry for the students was a big deal for us,” Lundelius said.

Although Parking Services doesn’t need any volunteers for the program, those willing to donate can do so even without having a citation to pay for, Lundelius said.

Her first year working with the program, Graduate Assistant for Volunteerism Katherine Nohelty said that programs such as Food for Fines are important because donations make a huge difference in helping out fellow community members.

The Huskie Food Pantry

The Huskie Food Pantry distributes food to enrolled NIU Students every Thursday at the Chick Evans Field House from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Here are details regarding eligibility requirements and hours of operation.

NIU community members looking to volunteer at the Huskie Food Pantry beyond the Food for Fines campaign can donate their funds, food or time, Nohelty said. More information regarding volunteer opportunities can be found on the ‘get involved’ tab on the Huskie Food Pantry webpage.