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Library offers overdue amnesty for Food Bank donation

By Debbie Gardner

PRIME Editor

HAMPDEN If that book you borrowed from the Hampden Free Public Library is a little -- or a lot -- overdue, this is the time to assuage your guilt and return that item while doing a little community good.

Through Nov. 21, the cost of returning an overdue library book, magazine, audio CD or video -- no matter how long you've kept the item -- is just one can or box of non-perishable food for the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts.

Any other time of the year, that overdue item would cost you 10 cents a day in overdue fees.

"We are glad we can be of help to both our patrons and the needy in the community," Library Director Carol Scheier told Reminder Publications.

According to data provided by the Food Bank, nearly one in 10 people in Western Massachusetts struggles daily to put a meal on the table, or has to choose between paying for heat or lights or food.

Library patrons whose books are returned on time are also invited to donate to the Food Bank collection, as are residents visiting the Town House during library hours.

The Hampden Free Public Library is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1 to 8 p.m., Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Library patrons who are unsure if they have overdue items can look up their record at

The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts distributes nearly three million pounds of food each year to residents throughout Hampden County.