Norfolk County Register of Deeds William P. O’Donnell carries in food donations collected during the Registry of Deeds Annual Holiday Food Drive with the help of Ann Toland, Marge Crispin Center Co-Director and Natale Lee, 15-year volunteer at the Marge Crispin Center in Braintree.
Dedham, MA – Last month, with the help of community members, real estate professionals, and area businesses, the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds collected more than 280 pounds of food and household goods during its Annual Holiday Food Drive as a response to the growing need for food assistance.
“I would like to extend our deepest gratitude to the companies, community groups, families, and individuals who donated,” said Norfolk County Register of Deeds William P. O’Donnell. “It is 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.
“Community donations are immensely important. They are a big help and give us a good deal of variety that we wouldn’t otherwise have,” said Ann Toland, Co-Director at the Marge Crispin Center in Braintree.
According to Project Bread, household food insecurity in Massachusetts has been fluctuating between 20 and 26%. Many Norfolk County food pantries have seen a significant increase in demand in the last year.
“We (Interfaith Social Services) are experiencing a 30% increase in the demand for food assistance, which is the highest it has been in our 53 years of operation,” said Rick Doane, Executive Director for Interfaith Social Services in Quincy. “We would be extremely grateful for any assistance that the local community could provide.”
According to the United States Bureau of Labor and Statistics, consumer prices for all items rose 3.4 percent from December 2022 to December 2023. All food prices increased 2.7 percent, with a 1.3 percent increase in prices for food at home.
“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 of Deeds William P. O’Donnell.
Children are especially vulnerable to food insecurity. Recent trends indicate that food insecurity among households with children in Massachusetts is increasing, with one out of four considered food insecure.
Register O'Donnell concluded, “Hunger does not stop after the holidays it is a persistent issue affecting many of our neighbors. I encourage residents to consider dropping off food supplies at their local pantry. 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.”
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