Courts collect food in Helena for school kids in lieu of fines

Nolan Lister

The Lewis and Clark County Justice and Helena Municipal courts collected food items in lieu of outstanding fines and donated them to Helena Food Share.

Lewis and Clark County Justice of the Peace Michael Swingley donated nearly 1,000 pounds of food and more than $500 in cash collected Thursday.

“We thought it would be a good idea and just decided to try it,” Swingley said in an interview Thursday evening. “It was wildly successful.”

Helena Municipal Court Judge Anne Peterson, right, poses for a photo Thursday while collecting food items during the Food for Fines drive benefiting Helena Food Share’s Kid Packs program.

Photo courtesy Helena Food Share

He said between the two courts, there is about $3 million in outstanding fines.

For every food item donated, $5 was knocked off an outstanding fine up to $200.

“We did get a lot of fines paid for too,” Swingley said.

Considering the success of the event, he said the court might try to do this once a year.

People are also reading…

View Source