Visiting your favorite Enoch Pratt Library branch this month? Take a long a canned good or box of oatmeal with you!

Enoch Pratt Free Library announced their annual campaign for Maryland Food Bank today, which aims to collect items for the Food Bank throughout month of January. The newly-named Food for Friends program will run from January 2 to 31 and replaces the popular Food for Fines program.

Why the name change? Well, because the library went fine-free last June.

“The Pratt Library is now fine-free. But we want to continue our support of the Maryland Food Bank during the winter,” says Pratt Library President & CEO Heidi Daniel. “I encourage everyone to drop off canned goods at our Pratt branches to help in this citywide effort to give back.”

In return for donating one can of food, library customers can eliminate one dollar from their library fees, which may include lost or stolen materials charges or replacement library card fees. The donation will be capped at $50 per customer for the month. Cans must be unopened and unexpired and no glass containers will be accepted. Last year, the Pratt Library collected 7,411 pounds of food, enough to help feed more than 6,175 Marylanders.

Yes, you can definitely donate if you don’t have fines. 

“This year marks our 40th year of feeding hungry Marylanders across the state, so we are especially excited to kick off 2019 with the help of our friends at the Enoch Pratt Free Library,” says Carmen Del Guercio, President & CEO of the Maryland Food Bank. “Campaigns like Food For Friends are instrumental to the work we do, not only because it’s an easy way for people to donate nutritious food, but because they bring attention to the fact that hunger is a year-round issue, one that doesn’t end once the holidays are over.”

What are the most needed food items? Here’s a quick reference:

  • Canned Proteins: canned tuna, salmon, chicken, peanut butter, or beans
  • Canned Vegetables: low sodium, no salt added
  • Fruits and Juices: in light syrup or its own juices, fruit cocktail, apple sauce, juice boxes
  • Pasta & Rice: brown & white rice, macaroni & cheese, pasta
  • Breakfast: cereal, oatmeal, quick oats, granola/cereal bars
  • Soups & Stews: low sodium, beef stew, chili, chicken noodle, vegetable, turkey & rice
  • Dairy: shelf-stable milk, evaporated milk, infant formula

For more details about the program go to www.prattlibrary.org.