'Tis the season to be thinking of ways to give more than you receive.

As you know, Thanksgiving is coming up later this month, and there are people in our community who are struggling to feed themselves and their families. The Cedar Rapids Public Library is helping you give to those in need, while also benefiting yourself.

If you currently have any outstanding overdue library fines, you can get them wiped out in a very special way. Now through November 30, bring in one non-perishable food item to any Metro Library Network branch (Downtown, Ladd, Marion or Hiawatha) for every $1 you owe.

The donations will go directly to Cedar Rapids' local food pantry, HACAP. If you're skeptical in any way about the need for or benefit of this program, note that with help from the Cedar Rapids Public Library's "Food for Fines" last year, over 7,000 pounds of food were collected and distributed. That shows how helpful and successful this initiative is.

Additionally, if you don't have any overdue fines but still want to help, you can even pay someone ELSE's fines through a food donation. Paying it forward is what this is all about. Or...feel free to bring in a donation just for the sake of doing so.

So if that book or movie is so riveting you feel like keeping it a while longer, go ahead. Just make sure to grab a can of soup or box of macaroni and cheese from your pantry when you're on the way out the door to eventually return it. Simple as that!

To find out more, visit the Cedar Rapids Public Library website.

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