City to donate parking fines to charity

It's terrible for people to go hungry over the holidays. That's why the Food Bank is asking Whitehorse citizens to do their part ... by parking their cars illegally.

It’s terrible for people to go hungry over the holidays.

That’s why the Food Bank is asking Whitehorse citizens to do their part … by parking their cars illegally.

For the next two weeks, the third annual Food for Fines drive is being held by the city’s bylaw services.

Any parking fines received between today and December 12 can be paid with nonperishable food items of equal value.

Bylaw will be accepting these food donations at their offices until December 16.

Or you can pay your fine in cash and ask that it be donated to the food bank instead of the city’s coffers.

This year, the Salvation Army and Maryhouse have asked their portions of the collected food be donated to the Whitehorse Food Bank.

The remaining third will be donated to Kaushee’s Place.

“By taking the opportunity to donate you can actually feel good about paying your parking tickets,” said Councillor Dave Stockdale.

While it probably won’t make you feel all that good about paying fines, supporting a worthy cause should at least make you a little less angry.

“I just welcome any help that we can get so we can turn around and help the people in need,” said Michel Bernier, the acting chair of the food bank’s board of directors.

“It’s very important for people and families to have something to eat during the Christmas holidays.”

The Whitehorse Food Bank currently has 600 regular customers, which represents around 1,200 mouths to feed.

This is twice the number of people than the organization had originally expected to be serving in its first year.

This is partly due to the current economic situation, said Bernier.

But the food bank has also begun providing food for people in some Yukon communities earlier than anticipated.

The organization had always planned to expand into the rest of the Yukon eventually, said Bernier.

But the large amount of food that’s being regularly donated has meant they could do this much sooner.

This is the first year the food bank has been in operation, but Bernier expects the need to grow during the holiday season.

The previous two years, bylaw brought in between $2,000 and $3,000 in food or money donations to the program.

With an increase in fines and one full-time officer now on parking patrol everyday (and two on Fridays), bylaw expects to collect even more food this year.

“So I hope people will get a lot of fines in December,” said Bernier.

Contact Chris Oke at

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