Duluth court to let people pay fines with canned food donations

The Duluth municipal court is allowing people with unpaid fines to turn their punishment into a good deed this holiday season.

Starting Friday, the court is accepting canned food donations as partial payment of fines.

Anyone with a payment due between Dec. 4 and Dec. 21 will get a $25 credit toward a fine by donating 10 cans of non-perishable goods.

The idea came from a resident, court employee Lori Edelkind said, “and we just thought it was a great idea to implement this year for the holiday season.”

The food will be donated to the Duluth Co-Op, which will distribute it to the needy.

The most anyone can get credit for is 10 cans per citation, or a maximum credit of $25 per fine. Anyone with a citation of less than $25 who brings in 10 cans does not get a refund or credit.

Credit cannot be used toward late fees, license suspensions, warrant fees or payment of fines for probation.

People who don’t bring canned goods with them on their scheduled court date will be allowed to leave and bring back the items by 4 p.m. the day of their arraignment.

The cans must be a standard size. Industrial-sized cans of food or foods that have a glass container will not be accepted. Cans must be taken to the Duluth Municipal Court at the Duluth Public Safety Building, 3276 Buford Hwy.

Suggested items include cans of vegetables, tomato sauce, beans, tomatoes, fruits, proteins, peppers, corn, mixed vegetables, peanut butter, jelly and soups of all kinds. Canned goods that are damaged, opened or expired will not be accepted.

Additional questions can be sent to Lori Edelkind at ledelkind@duluthga.net or Melissa Hales at mhales@duluthga.net.