Dedham – Last month, during the distribution of more than 200 pounds of food donations to Norfolk County food pantries from the Registry of Deeds’ Annual Holiday Food Drive Register of Deeds William P. O’Donnell discussed the growing need for community support with several organization leaders.
"I would like to extend our deepest gratitude to the companies, community groups, families, and individuals who donated, " said Register of Deeds William P. O’Donnell. "It was my pleasure to deliver these items to Food Pantries in Norfolk County and to help those with hardships during the winter season."
There are more than 33 food pantries in Norfolk County, and each of these organizations relies in part on food donations from the local community.
Household food insecurity in Massachusetts is between 16 and 18%. At the height of the coronavirus pandemic, the number peaked at 19.6% of households being food insecure.
"With the rising cost of food, housing, and utilities taking their toll on struggling families and seniors on fixed income, we have seen a marked increase in the need for food," said Pamela Denholm, Executive Director for South Shore Food Bank.
According to the United States Bureau of Labor and Statistics, home food prices rose 12.7% while wages only grew 5.1%, netting more than a 7.6% deficit at the grocery store.
"Many Norfolk County residents face both long-term and temporary hardships, including children, families, and individuals, and may be helped by a donation that you could provide," said Register O'Donnell.
Children are especially vulnerable to food insecurity. Recent surveys from Project Bread indicate that food insecurity among households with children in Massachusetts is increasing, with rates ranging between 19 and 22% as of early January 2023.
Register O'Donnell concluded, "Hunger does not stop after the holidays fade into the past; it is a persistent issue affecting many of our neighbors. I urge residents to consider dropping off food supplies at their local pantries across Norfolk County. Pantries are requesting canned goods, breakfast cereals, pasta, sauces, toiletries, and paper products. Dropping off a food donation at a local pantry can make a world of difference in helping a family in need," noted Register O'Donnell.
To see a list of Norfolk County food pantries, visit the Registry of Deeds website: https://www.norfolkdeeds.org/support/faqs/where-are-the-norfolk-county-food-pantry-locations-142