Food for Fines Program

McMaster University Libraries is currently partnering with the McMaster Student Union’s MACBread Bin to offer our users a unique alternative to paying your recall or reserve library fine - you can now pay with nonperishable food items.   

For every item of nonperishable food item you bring in we will
lower your recall or reserve fine by $5.00.
1 item of food = $5.00

For example:
If you owe $10.00, you can bring in 2 nonperishable food items.
If you owe $30.00, you can bring in 6 nonperishable food items.

The best part of the partnership is that your donations go directly to the MacBreadBin.  To read more about this student run initiative, click here:

Paying your recall or reserve fine with food is only an option.  You are still welcome to pay fines with money.  Student fines are billed directly to your Mosaic account.

There are TWO exceptions to the program:
1. We cannot accept food for fines that have been declared LOST, it is only for reserve and recall fines.
2. This program is only for McMaster University Libraries books NOT Health Sciences books. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Do I have to pay my fine with foods?
A: No, we are happy to bill your student account and you can pay your fine online via Mosaic.

Q: When do I need to bring the food in?
A: Anytime.  We will only forgive the fine when you bring in the food.  

Q: Which libraries are participating?
A:  You can drop your Food for Fines off at Innis, Mills or Thode Library.

Q: Can I donate extra food?
A: Yes, please.  That is so nice of you.

Q: Can I get a tax receipt?
A: No, sorry.

Q: I already have a reserve or recall fine on Mosaic. Can I bring in non-perishable food items to have the fine forgiven from my student account?
A: Good question but unfortuantely, we are only able to accept food for current recall or reserve fines.

Q: What types of non-perishable food items should I bring in.
A: You are so thoughtful.  The MacBread Bin has provided us with a list of their most needed items:

1. Protein

  • Flaked White/Light Tuna
  • Chunk White/Light Tuna
  • Canned Chicken
  • Other canned meats
  • Beans (not urgent)

2. Fruits & Vegetables

  • Pineapple
  • Peaches
  • Oranges/Mandarins
  • Tropical Fruits
  • Corn
  • Peas
  • Carrots
  • Mushrooms
  • Tomatoes
  • Other fruits & vegetables

3. Dry Pasta

Assorted kinds appreciated, no specific need

4. Dry Food/Snacks

  • Cookies
  • Boxed meals (e.g. scalloped potatoes, Uncle Ben’s, etc.)
  • Granola Bars
  • Popcorn
  • Other boxed snacks (e.g. bear paws, rice krispie squares, etc.)

5. Sauces, Spices & Condiments

  • Oil
  • Ketchup
  • Jam/Jelly
  • Peanut Butter
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Sugar
  • Salt

6. Misc.

  • Food wrap
  • Tea/Coffee

Question? Please contact Lynne Serviss at or at 905-525-9140 ext: 24053