From Sept. 7 through 17, Texas Tech Transportation and Parking Services is hosting its Pop-Tarts for Tickets drive to encourage students to pay off their parking citations with boxes of Pop-Tarts.

The Pop-Tarts will be donated to South Plains Food2Kids, a local non-profit dedicated to feeding children who do not have consistent meals on the weekends, according to the organization’s website. Brandon Richard, media relations coordinator for Tech Transportation and Parking Services, said students who do not like giving their money directly to the department can choose to support a good cause while also paying off a citation.

“So it's a win-win on all three sides, both us and people who have the tickets taking advantage of the program and also the Food2Kids, the food bank on the receiving end, they're winning too, so it's a win-win-win all overall, so that's a big reason we like to do it,” Richard said.

Transportation and Parking Services has hosted Pop-Tarts for Tickets for the past five years, excluding 2020 due to the pandemic, Richard said. According to the department’s website, the event brought in 12,400 Pop-Tarts for hungry children, and $2,000 worth of citations were dismissed within its first two years. 

Kacee Hogg, director of South Plains Food2Kids, said Pop-Tarts serve as a treat for the elementary school students the non-profit serves. Despite not having weekend meals, she said these children should feel like every other kid. 

“And I never realized until we were talking to teachers and get feedback from the students that some — a child once said that they thought that was only something that rich kids got, was Pop-Tarts, and that crushes your heart, because that's not ... you know?” Hogg said. 

Students can drop off the Pop-Tart boxes at the Administrative Support Center in room 145, according to the Tech Transportation and Parking website. The Pop-Tarts must be at least the value of the citation, and students may only pay off one citation. Boxes must be unopened.

For more information, visit the department's website.

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