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Food for Fines: Ky. Lets Drivers Pay Parking Tickets With Canned Food

By Christopher Coble, Esq. on November 16, 2015 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

We're on record as supporting creative ticket protests. But we really love Lexington, Kentucky's food drive, which allows people to pay part of their parking citations in canned food rather than cash.

And to be clear, the city wants patrons to pay tickets by donating non-perishable food items; and not by smearing raw bacon and sausage all over the police station.

More Cans, Less Cash

The Lexington Parking Authority's "Food for Fines" program lets customers put cans of food towards their parking tickets, receiving $15 credit for 10 cans. Those with multiple tickets are permitted to donate 10 cans per ticket, and past tickets are eligible for the rebate. Most parking citations in the city are $15, so a 10-can donation could wipe the slate clean.

This is the city's second year running the unique food drive. "Last year citizens brought in over 6,200 cans of food as payment for over 600 meter citations," said Parking Authority Executive Director Gary Means. "We hope by opening the program up to all types of citations, we'll see those numbers increase this season." The Parking Authority is requesting canned fruits and/or vegetables, proteins, and peanut butter, preferably in large cans, of about 14-15 ounces.

More Community, Less (In)Carcerating

A critique's of the country's overcrowded and dysfunctional prison system mount, more community service-based punishment systems are sprouting up. While some police forces have taken to shaming criminals on Facebook, some judges have taken to shaming criminals in real life. And other judges are fighting fire with fire, and punishing those who try to avoid jury duty with more jury duty.

There will always be those rogues and rapscallions who insist on paying their tickets in pennies. And to them we say, "Grow up. And this holiday season give some hungry people some food, instead of giving some hard-working clerk a headache.

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