St. Bernard police run 'food for fines' program to help area families

ST. BERNARD, OH (FOX19) - No one wants a traffic ticket, but if you get one in St. Bernard it can help feed those in need.

St. Bernard police are waiving traffic fines if you pay your debt with canned goods. The program will start on Monday, November 28th and last through Sunday, December 11th.

Non-moving violations can be taken care of with 25 canned goods. Moving violations will require 25 canned goods plus $39 in court costs. Police say court costs are required by state law. Eligible violations include parking tickets and missing headlights.

"No one enjoys getting a ticket, but when they found out they could help somebody, it was very well received," said Lt. Bill Ungruhe, St. Bernard Police.

Lt. Ungruhe said an average ticket can cost you about $100.

The holiday program was all the buzz this afternoon at the Cutter's Edge Salon off Vine Street. Stylist Melissa McManus.

"I'd definitely prefer it," said stylist Melissa McManus. "Money-wise, you can't go wrong. It's probably a lot cheaper to donate the can goods than pay the ticket."

And some argued it'd be more helpful, too.

"I think it's pretty cool that they want to do donations like that instead of making you pay money," said resident Krissy Meadows. "And help out needy people."

St. Bernard police started the holiday program three years ago. All of the canned goods go to families who live in St. Bernard.

"It's good for the people," said Mayor Bill Burkhartt. "It gives them another way to pay their fines instead of coming up with cash. It definitely helps the poor and the food kitchens. I think it's just a great idea all the way around."

There are a few exceptions, including:

• Compliance w/Police Officer Signal Section 303.01

• Operation Without Regard to Safety Section 333.02

• Speeding (School Zone) Section 333.03 (1)A

• Reckless Operation Section 333.09

• Handicapped Parking Section 351.04

• All citations requiring a mandatory court appearance up to and including all OVI and DUS violations.

Tickets received before November 28th aren't eligible.

Persons cited for traffic violations must bring their canned goods or non-perishable food items to the St. Bernard Police department, 4700 Vine Street, St. Bernard Ohio 45217, (for moving violations, the State costs must be paid at the same time). "Food For Fines" only applies to pay outs and cannot be used in court.

The tickets must be paid before December 19th.

Call 513-242-2727 with any questions.


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