Facing challenges presumably because of national economic downturn, CSU parking services’ bi-annual Can Amnesty Program, which allows students to have their parking fines lowered by donating canned food, is running low on contributions this year.
The program, which ends today, gives students the opportunity to bring in parking tickets and at least one canned food item to have their fines either reduced by $3 if the ticket was issued less than 10 days before or lowered back to their original price if the ticket has doubled due to late fees.
All food donated goes to the Larimer County Food Bank, and since the effort’s first year of existence in 2001, it has collected approximately 6,549 pounds of food.
“The amount we gather varies year to year,” said Natalie Gilley, parking services office manager. She said that though this year’s food collection is low compared to those of previous years, finals week is usually busiest for the drive.
“We do (the program) for three weeks in the fall and two weeks in the spring,” Gilley said, “but it’s an on and off thing until finals week, when everyone is on campus and is trying to resolve any last-minute issues.”
Chris Head, food drive coordinator for the Larimer County Food Bank, said the program is beneficial for all involved and that CSU students are usually very helpful when it comes to their efforts to support the Fort Collins community.
“CSU students are awesome throughout the whole year,” Head said. She said student contributions in projects like the amnesty program and in volunteer work make a difference in fighting the larger issue of hunger in the area.
Head said there is “no end in sight” for the program, as CSU commits a lot of hard work to making sure donations come in steadily.
“Times are tough, and people are getting hit at a lot of angles,” Head said, referencing the fact that many food drives exist around the city during the holidays. She said she knows of 52 food drives happening at the present time.
However, she said she’s sure CSU students will take the opportunity to give as they always have in the past.
News Managing Editor Elyse Jarvis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.