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TEMPE, Ariz. -- Tempe is giving people with overdue library books an opportunity to settle up and help a local charity at the same time.

All you have to do is raid your kitchen pantry for some canned goods to settle your outstanding library debt.

"What we really need most is protein items: peanut butter, tuna, salmon, canned chicken," said Kim Baxter-Ging, spokeswoman from the city of Tempe.

Baxter-Ging said the food will go to help the Tempe Community Action Agency, a non-profit group, and a majority of the people they help are families with children.

According to information from the city of Tempe, from Dec. 3 to Dec. 31, for every item of non-perishable food you bring to the Tempe Public Library, the City of Tempe will take a dollar off a tab for overdue materials.

"Each non-perishable item is worth $1 waived from existing library fines, up to $30 or half the account balance, whichever is greater. Food donations must be brought to the library's main desk, along with the user's library card or photo ID. Donations can be made only once per account. Expired, unlabeled or homemade items cannot be accepted. Also, library items being returned must be in usable condition and not lost or damaged. Accounts in collection status are not eligible for this program."

If you don't have any fines, those interested in helping can stop by and donate food items. Those who do will be entered to win prizes, provided by the Friends of the Tempe Public Library, that include autographed books and gift cards.

Sandra Haros , Reporter

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