Kentucky bill proposes using canned goods to pay for parking fines

Local News

OWENSBORO, Ky. (WEHT) If you’ve ever got a parking ticket, you’ve probably paid it with a credit card or even a check.

A bill in the Kentucky General Assembly would allow communities to start programs where people pay for tickets with food donations.

The cost of a parking fine varies. In the city of Owensboro, police say fines range from $10 to $65. But Kentuckians could soon be able to pay fines not with cash, but with cans of food.

“It sounds like an idea worth trying. It’d certainly get everyone involved more in our community,” says Maria Clark of Owensboro.

The House approved a bill earlier this week allowing communities to start programs where people can pay off parking fines by donating food and other items to nonprofit groups. The city of Lexington already has its annual Food For Fines program, where someone can donate ten cans of food to get $15 off any parking fine. That program usually happens in November and December.

“I think there’s a lot of potential in it, and not just for us, any nonprofits in the area would benefit,” says Capt. Rebekah Abram of the Salvation Army of Owensboro. She says it could also help non profit food pantries keep their shelves full through times of high demand. They helped more than 300 families get food just last month.

“We do have times where we have to only give out some beans and peanut butterand don’t have other things on top of that.”

The bill is now in the hands of a state Senate committee.

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(This story was originally published on February 7, 2020)

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