Man Turns in Over $5,000 in Loose Change to Help Combat U.S. Coin Shortage

A Wisconsin man turned in and exchanged more than $5,000 worth of coins to help with the coin shortage facing the U.S.

Jim Holton had started saving coins more than 20 years ago when his eldest son, Cameron, was a baby. He would save the change from his coffee and add it to his son's Green Bay Packers piggy bank.

Once the piggy bank was full, Holton began filling any container he could find.

Holton said he had been saving change for when his grandchildren graduated from college. He told NBC: "I just thought when the kids graduated, we could do something fun like go to Europe or something else that we never dreamed of doing."

With the U.S. facing a coin shortage, Holton decided to take his three, five-gallon buckets, the various jars and containers filled with other coins, to a bank in Wauwatosa. Speaking with NBC, he said: "It felt like it weighed 300 pounds. I was sweating while I pushed the dolly."

Holton had no idea how much money he had saved and told WTHR before the coins had been exchanged: "I'm not hoping for anything. My guess is that it is probably a couple of thousand, but I don't have anything to base it on, not a clue."

The United States Mint showcases the new Presidential series $1 coins, featuring the Statue of Liberty on the reverse, on January 24, 2007, in Chicago, Illinois. A man in Wisconsin turned in and exchanged more than $5,000 worth of coins to help combat the U.S. coin shortage. Getty/Scott Olson

The coins turned out to be worth $5,366.05.

Holton told NBC: "I won't be saving coins for a while because of the shortage, but maybe I'll find another creative way to set aside the money.

"If we all do something small in our own communities and help each other, that's what makes the world better."

North Shore Bank is counting and exchanging coins for free to encourage customers to bring in their loose change to combat the U.S. coin shortage.

The U.S. is facing a coin shortage caused by the coronavirus pandemic as fewer coins are being spent as businesses are closed due to lockdown orders and the U.S. Mint has slowed production to allow its employees to work with social distancing measures.

In response, some stores are not giving out coins, and are rounding up purchases with the excess being loaded onto a gift card.

Walmart is encouraging customers not to use cash, while Kroger is accepting cash but not giving out change.

In a press release issued on June 11, the Federal Reserve said: "Although the Federal Reserve is confident that the coin inventory issues will resolve once the economy opens more broadly and the coin supply chain returns to normal circulation patterns, we recognize that these measures alone will not be enough to resolve near‐term issues."