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'Food For Fines' underway at Cascade County Justice Court

Jordan Laverdure, Justice Court clerk
Posted at 6:56 PM, Dec 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-06 20:57:06-05

The Cascade County Justice Court is once again conducting its "Food For Fines" program. All donations are going to the Great Falls Community Food Bank and they are looking for a better turnout than last year to help more families in need.

For three days, if someone is making monthly payments on fines, they can bring 10 cans of nonperishable food in place of one payment. People that bring food must be current on fines and not have any outstanding warrants. They can not use the food for restitution payments or new tickets.

The program was started in 2009 and has collected more than 18,000 pounds of food throughout the years.

Court employees estimate around 2,000 have payable fines that fall into the criteria for the program.

They also estimate about 50 people on average bring in food each year, but said it is hit and miss and are taking extra donations for the food bank as well.

“We’re trying to get this out there for people,” said Jordan Laverdure, Justice Court clerk. “It helps people and families eat during the holidays. These are my favorite days of the year being able to help, plus it helps people not go into warrants and keeps them up on their fines.”

Extra food items are appreciated but can not be used to increase credit toward your fines.

Do not bring outdated or damaged food items, as they can not be used by the Great Falls Community Food Bank, and will not count toward your 10 cans/boxes.

The program began on Tuesday and will continue on Wednesday, December 7, and Thursday, December 8, from 8am until 4:30pm each day.