Photo: Warren_Price (iStock)

Here’s a downright inspired idea, especially during the holiday season. Anyone who has been issued a parking ticket on the campus of Central Michigan University since November 19 can donate non-perishable food to get that ticket reduced or eliminated, up to $35. Proceeds go to the CMU food pantry. In doing so, the CMU police department is taking a page from some local libraries that follow this “Food For Fines” practice.

Parking Services Specialist Bree Ring tells NBC25News in Saginaw that with the “Food For Fines” program, “it’s a lot nicer having people coming with smiles getting money off their ticket rather than angry that they have a ticket. If it goes well, we’re hoping we can do this a couple times a year.” Hear, hear! There are few things dumber and more annoying than a parking ticket, and this is a helpful way to encourage people to be generous. Another one of those “oh, that’s nice” ideas that deserves to go widespread.