Burlington, VT – Today, Mayor Weinberger announced a nearly $40,000 contribution to Feeding Chittenden from the City’s Fines for Food program. The Fines for Food Program was created by the Department of Public Works Parking Division and Ward 6 City Councilor Karen Paul, in hopes to address food insecurity and unlock lost revenue for the city by creating a positive experience for people with overdue parking fines. Over 9,000 mailers were sent out to individuals owing outstanding parking fines: half of all revenue generated throughout the duration of the program would go to Feeding Chittenden.
The program, which ran throughout the holiday season, saw about 10% of the individuals who owe outstanding parking fines pay up: still, this nearly doubled historic payments for overdue parking fines. Feeding Chittenden received $39,638.50: enough for 27,000 meals, according to Rob Meehan, the organization’s director.
Mayor Weinberger praised the success of the Fines for Food pilot program, and congratulated Feeding Chittenden and DPW for their hard work and innovation in helping to address food insecurity in Vermont.
“The team in Parking Services was enthusiastic about this partnership and overjoyed with how successful we were in contributing to a great cause and organization,” said Jeff Padgett, Division Director of Parking at DPW. “We heard from people all across Vermont, New England and the country who chose to pay because of the charitable contribution. We are working hard to redefine the parking experience in Burlington and looking for creative ways to connect with our community.”
Community members can reach the Parking Services team by calling 802-540-2380 or pay overdue tickets online at burlingtonvt.gov/parking or in person at the municipal building at 645 Pine St.
Community members are also encouraged to contribute to Feeding Chittenden. There are more than 20,000 individuals in Chittenden County who live in food insecure households. Feeding Chittenden works to reduce that number through a food access center with programs that include a food pantry, home deliveries, soup kitchen, culinary job training and the Good Food Truck. Visit www.feedingchittenden.