Burlington’s First Fines for Food Program results in $40,000 Donation to Feeding Chittenden  


Contact: Jordan Redell,  

Robert Goulding,  

Burlington’s First Fines for Food Program results in $40,000 Donation to Feeding Chittenden  

Burlington, VT – Today, Mayor Weinberger announced a $40,000 contribution to Feeding Chittenden from the City’s Fines for Food program. Inspired by Feeding Chittenden’s mission to combat food insecurity, the Department of Public Works Parking Division and City Councilor Karen Paul created the Fines for Food pilot program, which was approved by City Council in December 2021. In total, over 800 people paid nearly $80,000 in fines, half of which will go to support Feeding Chittenden’s mission. 

“I’m excited that the City’s successful Fines for Food program was able to make this meaningful contribution to Feeding Chittenden,” said Mayor Weinberger. “Our outstanding DPW team came up a truly innovative program, and I’m grateful to all the residents and visitors who paid off their overdue fines to help this program succeed.” 

“Feeding Chittenden is committed to ensuring no one in our region goes without food,” said Rob Meehan, Director of Feeding Chittenden. “The pandemic has created new hardships and our response has been to pivot as an organization and deliver emergency food and look for innovative solutions to alleviate hunger. DPW’s pay it forward type initiative supports keeping transportation available to folks while also helping to feed people.” 

"Food insecurity is an unnecessary truth,"said Councilor Paul. "Although Chittenden County is considered one of the healthiest in Vermont,  too many, over 10% of our community members struggle with food insecurity, which should be unacceptable to all of us. Food insecurity is linked to a variety of chronic illnesses as well as increased stress and poor mental health. In Vermont, over 70,000 people are facing hunger - and of them over 15,000 are children. Fines for Food was created so we, as a community, could pay it forward and support an important need. These programs do not happen without a lot of teamwork. I am grateful to the Parking Services team and to the many in our community and well beyond Burlington who decided to pay their delinquent fines so we could be here today to donate these funds to Feeding Chittenden."  

“The team in Parking Services was enthusiastic about this partnership and overjoyed with how successful we were in contributing to a great cause and organization,” said Jeff Padgett, Division Director of Parking at DPW. “We heard from people all across Vermont, New England and the country who chose to pay because of the charitable contribution.  We are working hard to redefine the parking experience in Burlington and looking for creative ways to connect with our community.” 


‘Fines for Food’, which ran during the holiday season, encouraged community members to resolve outstanding parking fines with DPW donating 50% of overdue payments to Feeding Chittenden. It was envisioned by Councilor Paul and designed by DPW’s newly formed Parking Services group in consultation with the Administration and Feeding Chittenden to take concrete action to address food insecurity, unlock lost revenue for the city and create a positive experience for people in resolving old, overdue tickets. Revenue generated by this program outpaced historic payments for overdue parking fines and thus resulted in no loss of revenue to the City. While the initial program was a pilot effort, there is interest and enthusiasm in moving forward with similar efforts. 


More Information 

Community members can reach a member of the one-stop-shop Parking Services team by calling 802-540-2380 or pay overdue tickets online at or in person at the municipal building at 645 Pine St.   

Community members are also encouraged to contribute to Feeding Chittenden. Please visit to learn more about their work. 




About Feeding Chittenden  

There are more than 20,000 individuals in Chittenden County who live in food insecure households.  Feeding Chittenden works to reduce that number through a food access center with programs that include a food pantry, home deliveries, soup kitchen, culinary job training and the Good Food Truck.  Visit for more information. 





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