Readers in Cornwall with overdue library fines can make donations to foodbanks instead of paying next month.

The Food for Fines scheme is a one-off Christmas fundraiser thought up by Cornwall Council’s Linda Moffatt.

Her idea quickly gained support as colleagues agreed it would bring some Christmas cheer to families on low incomes facing hardship over the holidays.

Linda, the council’s library and information service manager, said: “Money is tight everywhere, but some families are really struggling.

“So in the run up to Christmas, if you owe any money for overdue items this is a good opportunity for you to donate food to help your local community, making your own money go further too.”

All good donated over participating library counters throughout December will be passed on to local foodbank charities.

The libraries taking part are in Falmouth, Penzance, Helston, Callington, Bodmin, Liskeard, Launceston, Looe, St Agnes, Redruth, St Ives, St Just, St Columb Major and Hayle, as well as the two mobile library vans. Camelford Library will be accepting food for fines up to £5.

These libraries will be displaying posters showing the types of food that can be accepted - it has to be food with a long shelf life.

Some household items such as toiletries and cleaning products will be accepted too.

Food for Fines runs from Monday December 2 to Tuesday December 31.