AUSTIN, Texas — For two weeks, University of Texas at Austin students can exchange cans of soup to pay off a parking ticket on campus!
From March 6 through March 24, students on campus can pay off one eligible parking ticket with cans of soup, 10 ounces or more. The catch to the trade-in deal that Longhorns can make is only one parking citation can be paid off in soup cans, and a minimum of five cans of soup must be donated.
All soup cans donated will be used at the UT Outpost food pantry for students. UT Outpost provides students experiencing food insecurity with nutritious food and professional attire for job fairs and internships.
"Thirty-seven-point-seven percent of UT students have experienced food insecurity at some point, and so that is why we exist – to be able to meet that need for students, to support them, so that way they can focus on studying and being in classes as opposed to wondering when their next meal is going to come in," said Valeria Martin, student emergency service coordinator with UT Outpost.
If a student has late fees or collection fees, those cannot be paid off in soup cans – those must be paid for with actual currency. Only the cost of the citation may be paid off in soup.
Parking citations issued between Aug. 17, 2022, and March 5, 2023, are eligible for the trade-in. The following citations are eligible:
- Parking overtime at a meter: $20
- Vehicles of any type parked in a university building: $20
- Two-wheeled vehicle parked in a space designated for four-wheeled vehicles: $25
- Bicycle or EPAMD parking in a non-designated area: $25
- Parking without a valid authorized permit: $35
- Improper method of parking, $35 fee, which include:
- Parked opposite to the flow of traffic
- Parking over the designated parking space line
- Loading and unloading a car without flashing lights on
- Parking over the rear line of a garage space
- Parking on the wrong level of a garage
- Parking overtime at a meter
- Parking in violation of a set-time parameter, $35 fee, which include:
- Surface space
- Metered space
- Loading zone space
- Parking or driving on sidewalks, grass or shrubbery: $35
- Unauthorized parking in the Thompson Conference Center/LBJ Lots: $35
- Violating temporary parking restrictions: $35
- Obstruction of vehicle or pedestrian traffic: $35
- Unauthorized movement of barricade or parking within a barricaded area: $35
- Improper passenger pick-up or drop-off: $35
- Idling at air intake louvers: $35
- Exceeding the speed limit: $75
- Moving violation not specified: $75
Soup cans must be at least 10 ounces and if a can is over that minimum, the extra ounces will not count as more cans. The cans must be sealed, unopened and not expired when donated.
For citations costing between $15 to $35, five soup cans must be donated. For citations costing between $36 to $75, seven soup cans must be donated.
Students can drop off the soup cans at any of the six staffed garage offices on campus.
"We waive the citation and then, at the end of the program, we will take all of those donations over UT Outpost and stock their shelves," said Blanca Gamez, director of UT Parking and Transportation Services.
The hours may range depending on the garage. You can check garage hours on the UT parking garage website.
Read more about how the soup-to-citation conversion works.