Food for Fines in Lexington, Kentucky

as appeared in the

Lexington Herald Leader

January 4, 2016

LexPark collects 10,000 canned food items in “Food for Fine” program

The Lexington Parking Authority collected 10,000 canned goods and other food items as part of its five-week “food for fines” program.

The program — now in its second year — allowed people to pay traffic and parking fines with canned goods. All donations received by LexPark were given to God's Pantry Food Bank.

According to God’s Pantry, 10,211 pounds, or 5 tons, of food were received, which is the equivalent of 8,370 meals. The program started Nov. 16 and concluded Dec. 18. In 2014, only parking citations were eligible for the food for fines program. This year the program was…

Read more: Food for Fines in Lexington, Kentucky

Rescuing People by Rescuing Food

Copyright Francis P.Koster, Ed.D.

Note: In addition to publishing my writing on this website, and emailing it to a mailing list of over 3,000 community leaders, my columns appear in several newspapers. One of the unsatisfying aspects of my work is that I never know if anyone acts on the material I create.  This column was an experiment.  Instead of writing about a national problem and a national opportunity, I decided to try to write about the same issue from a local perspective, choosing a community near where I live which had a social service organization willing to participate in the experiment.  This would allow me to monitor the impact of the column.   For a view of the results, chec…

Read more: Rescuing People by Rescuing Food

A Success Story About Job Creation

By Francis Koster, Ed.D.


Just about the time the South's furniture and textile economy collapsed, so did Cleveland Ohio's.


Cleveland used to supply much of the steel for the Detroit automobile industry. Car and truck sales in the United States have fallen by one third over the past 13 years, and a significant portion of those sold are now made outside of Detroit. Almost half of all Cleveland's manufacturing jobs vanished.[1] Hundreds of thousands of jobs were lost forever.


After some years of struggle, leadership in Cleveland pioneered a very interesting role model of economic development which may be worth imitating.


A coalition of large not-for-profit institutions began to meet to discuss what they could d…

Read more: A Success Story About Job Creation

Fruits and Veggies Lower Death Rate by 42% and Create Local Jobs

by Francis P. Koster, Ed.D.

There are three surprising facts about food that almost no one knows - and they absolutely impact the life expectancy and health of you and yours.

Start with this: British researchers studied 65,000 people over 7 years, and found that people who ate seven portions of fruits or vegetables every day have a 42% lower death rate than those who ate just 4 or fewer servings![1] The Centers for Disease Control studies show that only 11% of Americans eat that much![2]

The second interesting fact is that today's fruits and veggies are missing a lot of vitamins and minerals those same crops had 50 years ago. A woman eating a peach in 1951 got around 25 times…

Read more: Fruits and Veggies Lower Death Rate by 42% and Create Local Jobs

Supermarkets are Hungry for Local Food Suppliers

Supermarkets are Hungry for Local Food Suppliers

By Francis P. Koster, Ed.D.

Every major supermarket chain I have spoken to tells me they were having trouble obtaining reliable large shipments of locally grown items.  

A great opportunity to improve our nation's health and economy exists.

This is a competitive challenge for the supermarkets, because research has shown that almost 30% of shoppers say they would consider switching to another chain if their favorite store does not carry an adequate amount of locally produced food. 70% of these shoppers say they would pay a premium of up to 10% to for locally grown food, increasing local farmers income. 1 , 2

In order to satisfy this demand, a few industry leaders have shown the…

Read more: Supermarkets are Hungry for Local Food Suppliers