Photo courtesy of UF Transportation & Parking Services

The University of Florida recently came up with a creative way of helping the hungry, while also making irritated motorists feel a little better about paying off their parking citations.

On April 1, UF President W. Kent Fuchs announced the launch of Food for Fines, a program that forgave parking citations at the university issued between April 1, 2017 and April 1, 2018 in exchange for donations to the school’s Field and Fork Pantry.

“For many years, parking tickets have been a source of contention between the university administration, and our students, staff, faculty, alumni, and visitors,” Fuchs said in a video posted on UF’s Twitter account. “I am pleased to announce on this first day of April that UF will have an amnesty program for parking fines.”

Although Fuchs announced the program on April Fools’ Day, the results were no joke.

According to UF’s Transportation and Parking Services, the weeklong Food for Fines program resulted in almost 13,000 items donated to forgive 2,574 citations.

Participants were required to donate a minimum of five items — either canned goods or other approved non-perishable items — to the pantry, which benefits UF students, faculty, and staff.

Interested in launching a Food for Fines program in your community?  Below are guidelines used by UF for the program:

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