Pantry welcomes food from Valley Center violators

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The City of Valley Center is offering to receive food donations to pay for a portion of outstanding warrant fees or fines.

"We thought it was a good idea," said Stacy Shay, court clerk, who learned Topeka and South Hutchinson provided a similar program.

The 'Food for Fines' program will give a $5 credit for each non-perishable food item, for up to $50 worth of credits.

Food donations will be given to the Valley Center Food Pantry. 

"Anytime we can get more resources into the pantry, it's something that's going to be beneficial. So, we were excited," said Kevin Bogle, a pastor at Grace Connections Church, who has managed the Valley Center Food Pantry for 15 years.

The pantry is currently stocked with donations from the 10 local churches that participate.

"We go through things really quickly. So, it's always deceiving when the shelves are full. You can't get lax because you know there's going to be a lot of needs," said Bogle.

Shay said this program will help clear some of the outstanding debt in the city. As of November 2018, there were 547 open cases that totaled $91,559.64 in outstanding debt.

"I think it's really good 'cause I was struggling about how I'm going to come up with $100 to pay off a speeding ticket. When she told me about it, I was like, 'That's amazing. I'm going to do that,'" said Hailey Sanderson, participant.

Food cannot be dented, rusted, expired or opened.

Since the program began on Jan. 1, 167 cans of food have been collected.

The program will end on Feb. 28.

To participate, visit the Valley Center City Hall at 121 South Meridian, Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.