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Innisfil, Ontario Lets Residents Pay For Parking Tickets With Food Bank Donations

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If you’re the sort that hates forking over any more money to the government than necessary, then you’ll like this idea.

The Ontario town of Innisfil, south of Barrie, is allowing residents to pay for their parking tickets by donating items to a local food bank.

From Nov. 20 to Dec. 9, people can bring items of an equal or greater value than their fine to Innisfil’s town hall. The town will accept kids’ toys, gift cards and non-perishable food.

The first “Scrooge the Ticket” initiative in 2015 was a big success, with residents donating nearly $1,200 worth of toys, chocolate, cookies and gift cards to the Innisfil Community Church’s Christmas Outreach Program.

scrooge the ticket
An invitation to "Scrooge the Ticket" by donating to a local food bank is tucked alongside a parking ticket on a car's windshield. (Photo: Town of Innisfil)

“No one likes to get a parking ticket, but this is a thoughtful way to have our residents give generously to a great cause leading into the holiday season,” said Mayor Gord Wauchope in a statement.

This year, residents who haven’t received tickets can also donate, according to the Innisfil Journal.

But the municipality isn’t the first to think of this idea. The Ontario city of Orillia also allows those who owe money for parking violations to give toys instead for a short time, as does Oshawa, Red Deer, Alta. and American cities like Boston and Las Vegas.

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