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City of Racine – Today, Mayor Cory Mason was joined by Police Chief Howell, officers of the Racine Police Department, and representatives from Malicki’s Piggly Wiggly and the Racine County Food Bank to announce the “Food for Forgiveness” partnership.

Beginning Friday, December 6th and continuing through December 31st, the Racine Police Department will offer a special Hunger Relief Food Drive to support families in need during the Holiday Season and beyond. Under this special initiative, local residents who have outstanding parking citations where late fees have accrued will be eligible to have all late fees forgiven in exchange for a $5 food donation to the Racine County Food Bank.

“This is a great idea for the holidays, and I want to thank Officer Jon LeGath thinking outside of the box and bringing this idea forward,” said Mayor Cory Mason. “This is an excellent way for residents to start the New Year. You can clear up your parking tickets late fees and give back to families that need our support in the community.”

“Hunger and food insecurity present a challenge for communities on a local and national level.  Our neighborhoods are safer and stronger when we work together to improve the quality of life for all residents, beginning with basic needs,” said Racine Police Chief Art Howell. “On behalf of the sworn men and women who serve as peace offices locally, I am pleased to offer our collective support for this special Holiday Food Drive.”

There are two ways to support this special hunger relief effort. First, citizens may purchase prepackaged grocery goods at Malicki’s Piggly Wiggly (5201 Washington Avenue), where customers will receive a validated receipt to present at the public service counter of the Racine Police Department. Citizens may also make a direct cash donation of $5 at the public service counter (in lieu of direct food purchases).

“I first heard of a similar program in Menominee while attending the conference. The Menominee coordinator told me of their success and I presented it to our leadership. I believed this was a good way to turn a negative into a positive this holiday season by giving back to the community,” said Office Jon LeGath, who originally presented the idea to his leadership.

Groceries purchased at Malicki’s Piggly Wiggly will be collected in special bins at the front of the store, after which all non-perishable goods will be transported to the Racine County Food Bank for regional distribution as dictated by need within the Greater Racine County region.

“We look for, as a local grocery operator, for all sorts of community partnerships. We have partnered with the City and the Police Department on a number of projects and thought this was a great opportunity to expand on those,” said Ralph Malicki, owner of Malicki’s Piggly Wiggly. “As Chair of the food bank board, we are very grateful for the donations because the need is great this time of year.”

Upon satisfying the original parking citation and being credited for a cash or food donation, all associated late fees will be waived. Each individual citation will require a separate donation to trigger the forgiveness of associated late fees.

Under the Community Oriented Policing (COP) philosophy, the mission of the Racine Police Department is to address crime and disorder through the introduction of problem-solving strategies that reduce crime and increase the quality of life for local residents. The COP “Food for Forgiveness” Hunger Relief Initiative is in line with our primary mission and organizational values.

Citizens who have no outstanding fines, but would like to support this effort are welcome to support this community-wide relief effort by making food donations at Malicki’s Piggly Wiggly.