Feed meters, feed people

New smart meters designed to discourage panhandling

A half dozen new “donation station” smart parking meters in downtown Chico will enable users to donate to organizations that provide resources for homeless people, according to a city of Chico press release.

The red-topped meters are scheduled to be installed Friday (Nov. 20), at six locations between First and Fourth streets and Salem and Broadway. The meters, which were donated by parking-meter vendor IPS Group, are part of an effort by local organizations including the Downtown Chico Business Association and the Clean and Safe Action Group, “to create awareness about the negative impacts of panhandling and provide an alternative,” the release reads.

Donations gathered through the meters will be distributed by the North Valley Community Foundation, and will benefit service groups to be determined at a later date.