UK’s Donations for Citations program lets students pay parking tickets with donations

31 Mar

The University of Kentucky will allow students to waive a parking citation in exchange of a donation of non-perishable food and personal care items to Big Blue Pantry, which helps students experiencing food insecurity.

The pilot program, Donations for Citations — running from Monday, Feb. 29 to Friday, March 11 — seeks to raise awareness of Big Blue Pantry and to increase stock for the summer.

Manning Kulis, student director of Big Blue Pantry, said teaming up with UK Parking and Transportation Services for the drive is a huge boost for the organization.

“Overall, the Donations for Citations program is going to be a tremendous help for the Big Blue Pantry,” Kulis said. “This is the time in the semester where we don’t have as many donors, drives or people interested in helping out. Though the pantry isn’t under-stocked currently, it’s always good to have a variety of foods.”

Students may donate 10 non-perishable food items or 5 personal care items to waive one ticket of up to $25.

The Big Blue Pantry will accept canned goods, pasta, peanut butter, oatmeal and cereal as well as shampoo, hand soap, hand sanitizer, toilet paper, toothpaste, shaving cream, razors, tampons and other household items.

“In the first week, Donations for Citations has yielded over 500 pounds of food for Big Blue Pantry and two bins of personal care items. That equates to 85 citations, which represents a combination of students and employees,” said Chrissie Tune, UK Parking and Transportation Services Marketing Coordinator.

There are, however, a few stipulations for those wanting to substitute a donation for a citation.

In order for students to qualify to have a ticket waived they must pay off all other unpaid parking citations. In addition, only regular parking citations can be waived — egregious violations like impoundment, immobilization, parking in handicap spots or fire lanes and improper use of parking permits cannot be waived.

“The stipulations aren’t designed to make the program overly complicated, but rather to have Donations for Citations benefit Big Blue Pantry as much as possible while still following best practices for this type of program,” Tune said.

Tune also said Donations for Citations decided on the minimum required donations after looking at how other schools and agencies structured their programs.  

Those interested in donating may visit Big Blue Pantry in rooms 23-25 in the basement of Whitehall Building on UK’s campus.

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