UPJ launches Food for Fines program

Local News

What would you do to avoid paying a parking ticket? Well, students at University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown found a way to reduce those hefty fines and help out the community at the same time.

Students at UPJ are paying their parking tickets with pasta and sauce.

The Food for Fines program launched this week.

Students can drop off items for the Johnstown Family Kitchen and in return, get $5, $10, or $15 taken off their parking ticket fines.

Student Government Association President Sam Miller says fines cost $15-$50 and up donating food is a bargain.

“You would actually be paying less by donating, rather than paying the exact same fine,” said Miller.

It all started at the beginning of the school year when someone tweeted at the student government about a similar program at another college.

“It was more of just a dream. It was like, “Oh, we’ll look into it. We’ll see what we can do,” said Miller.

“Nobody likes a parking ticket,” said Chris Stumpf, Vice President of Student Affairs.

Students approached the school and the idea took off.

“They brought it to me and I made some things to make it easier on them and on the students,” said Stumpf.

If it’s successful this week, Miller hopes to hold a food drive every year or even semester and eventually open up an on-campus food pantry for students.

A few bags of food feeding the hungry, connecting these students to their community and saving these college kids a little cash.

“Just because you got a ticket, doesn’t mean the school wins or you win,” said Miller.

Students can drop off food here at the Student Union in room G-61 from Monday to Friday this week from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and then 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

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