UF forgives nearly 2,700 parking tickets in exchange for pantry items

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University of Florida president Kent Fuchs is known to have a lot of fun with his students, including an April fools day video posted on Facebook every year.

But this year's video stating campus parking tickets could be forgiven...was no joke.

Fuchs teamed with UF’s Transportation and Parking Services to create a week-long program called Food for Fines. TAPS accepted five pantry items per citation to go to UF’s Field and Fork Pantry.

“It went really well. Food for Fines was a huge hit,” said AnaLee Rodriguez of TAPS. “Field and Fork, they actually told me they were running low on supplies. So this is really going to fill that up and feed a lot of people.”

Now, your parking tickets will help stock it.

“Hunger doesn’t discriminate,” said Stephanie Muench, supervisor of Field and Fork. “10 percent of students at one point in their college career are hungry and can’t afford to buy food. So that’s when different departments got together and student government to create the pantry.”

On average Field and Fork gives out over two thousand pounds of pantry items per week, Muench said.

Food for Fines brought in about six tons of supplies, which will last the pantry for the rest of the semester.

“This says a lot about the University of Florida,” Rodriguez said. “Everybody sticks together, everyone wants to help one another. They want to pitch in for a greater cause…not just to fill their citation void, but to help other people.”

TAPS forgave about 27 hundred citations. With an average citation costing about $35, that amounts to just under $100 thousand worth of tickets.

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