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UBC Okanagan turns parking fines into food

Food for Fines raises almost $6,000 for the student-run food bank in February
Stephanie Patterson, far right, Food Security and Nutrition Manager with the Student Union of UBC Okanagan, helped students Maki Benedicto, Omana Pisharoty and Ana Cortes unload donated items when the Food for Fines program came to a close in February 2024. (UBCO/Submitted)

An organization at UBC Okanagan is turning that feeling of frustration returning to a parking ticket on your car after a long day on campus, into food.

For the past few years, every November and February, people with a parking citation have the option to pay the just first half of their parking fine in addition to giving a food donation to Food for Fines.

Food items are given to UBCO’s Pantry, a food bank located on campus and operated by the Students’ Union Okanagan.

“February contributions totalled more than 1,925 items. That translates to about $5,680 in parking citation forgiveness,” said Jeff Joyce, manager of parking services at UBC Okanagan.

The Pantry, which opened in 2019, helps provide emergency food relief for students. More than 100 students access the space each day and approximately 50 students use the food hamper program each week.

According to the Students’ Union, more than 43 per cent of post-secondary students across Canada are food insecure.

“Donations received this February greatly exceeded our expectations, providing a significant boost to the SUO Pantry. We thank our entire campus community for its support and look forward to growing this initiative even further,” said Joyce.

To learn more about the student foodbank visit

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Jacqueline Gelineau

About the Author: Jacqueline Gelineau

I'm a reporter in the beginning stages of my career. I joined the team at Capital News in November 2021...
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