As we prepare our holiday gatherings and frantically search for just the right gift to give or dish to serve, we are inundated with hundreds of items to choose from. Will it be turkey or ham?  Mashed or sweet potatoes? Should I get someone a bike or a video game? The options are endless. It can be a tough choice, but what if that choice was between feeding your family or keeping your home, giving presents or staying warm?

     For some people their options are much more sobering ones, as the oncoming holidays bring on stress and anxiety. Fuel bills, unexpected medical costs and higher housing costs lead to such thoughts as, “How do I keep a roof over my family’s head and still put food on the table.” For these families, the holiday season takes on a whole different meaning.

     The issue of hunger in Massachusetts is literally a call to action. The latest information available from Project Bread indicates that more than 35,300 people contacted Project Bread for food assistance last year. The statistics driving these calls are truly daunting. 18.8% of households in Massachusetts are considered food insecure. Furthermore, 1 in 5 children in the state are also considered food insecure. The increasing cost of housing and food are likely factors that contribute to the rising rates of food insecurity. According to the latest Project Bread statistics, 18.8% of households in Massachusetts are considered food insecure.

     Another somber statistic, according to the charity Family Action, is that one in seven parents will unlikely be able to afford Christmas presents for their children this year. Based on the number of children in the United States and the average number of children per family, nearly 2 million children will go without a gift this holiday season.

     Let us be mindful during this holiday season that while Norfolk County may be a destination place to live and work there are people who reside here that need our help. The Norfolk County Registry of Deeds Annual Holiday Food Drive is underway, ending December 14th, and our 16th Annual Toys for Tots Drive runs now until December 7th.

     Donations of toys or food can be brought directly to the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds building located at 649 High St. in Dedham and placed in the respective bins in the main lobby. Suggested donations for food include canned goods, breakfast cereals, pasta, spaghetti sauce, toiletries, and paper products.  Donations of new toys and games for toddlers and children up to age 10 should be unwrapped.

    If you can’t get to the Registry of Deeds building to drop off food, you can check the Registry website at for a pantry location in your community. For a list of Toys for Tots drop-off locations, visit the Marine Corps Reserve website here:

     Working together, we can truly make a huge difference this holiday season. By supporting each other and taking a moment to think of those in need, we can help individuals and families who may be struggling with food insecurity or the pressure to deliver on holiday promises, because no one should go hungry or have to choose between keeping warm and keeping the holiday spirit.

The Norfolk County Registry of Deeds will be closed on Thursday, July 4th in celebration of Independence Day. We are open Friday, July 5th.

The Norfolk County Registry of Deeds is closed Today, July 4th in celebration of Independence Day. We are open Friday, July 5th.