April 2020
Monthly News & Updates
ABCD provides food to the community
through our food pantries and Head Start
With the uncertainty of these times, many individuals and families have found themselves in need of help. One of the biggest needs ABCD has seen in the past month and a half is the need for food, with requests increasing weekly. A lot of our community has been hit with loss of wages and reduced access to essential supplies and nutrition. To assist our most vulnerable neighbors, and those who have been hit the hardest by COVID-19, ABCD has been supplying food through our five food pantry locations at the the following neighborhood centers: Allston/Brighton NOC, East Boston APAC, Mattapan FSC, Parker Hill NSC and Roxbury/N. Dorchester NOC. More than 2,200 families have been served since mid March.

It isn’t just our food pantries helping people at this time; since March 17th ABCD Head Start has been making sure Head Start families have access to groceries, diapers, formula, milk and educational resources through weekly distributions. On April 23rd Head Start staff and volunteers loaded up 9 school buses with food and supplies and delivered them to more than 1,000 families who were not able to travel to pick them up or afford them. In fact Boston 25 followed the bus on a few stops and captured how grateful families were to not only receive their packages, but know they were not forgotten during this difficult time. Check out that story here .

If you are in need of food, please call one of our five food pantry locations to pre-register. For food assistance in the Mystic Valley area, please call our Mystic Valley Opportunity Center location to be connected with resources. To learn more information about food distribution and other emergency services ABCD is providing during this time, click the button below.
ABCD helps ensure children continue learning
With the closure of schools and early learning centers due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ABCD is using distance learning to support the continued progress of youth and children in its programs.  

ABCD’s two high schools, William J. Ostiguy High School and University High School , transitioned nearly overnight to distance learning after the schools closed their buildings on March 17th. The schools worked with BPS to loan Chromebooks to students who didn’t have their own laptops. In addition, Life Science Cares, a funder of the schools’ math and science remediation program, has partnered with Tech Goes Home to help fill in the gaps by providing mobile hotspots for students’ lacking a reliable internet connection and Chromebooks for new enrollees at Ostiguy High.
The teachers have gone above and beyond to support students’ continued engagement and learning throughout the shift to distance learning. The schools maintain a regular schedule of classes using Zoom, and students are held accountable for completing assignments. An essential feature of both schools is the high level of counseling support, which has also transferred very successfully to a remote model. The counselors have reached out to every student, providing support to help them navigate the challenges they face, whether it be balancing increased hours at work with school work, needing cleaning supplies to maintain a safe environment at home, or dealing with anxiety caused by the pandemic. The Ostiguy students continue to meet virtually with their peers and staff to conduct their regular weekly recovery related meetings.
Foundations commit $60,500 to ABCD’s COVID-19 relief

When a crisis emerges, one must act quickly to minimize the damage, especially when that crisis impacts all people. With the support of seven major foundation and corporate gifts totaling more than $60,500, ABCD has been able to shift quickly and meet the evolving needs of clients during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  

In the Allston-Brighton neighborhood, where food pantry resources are few and public transportation is challenging, two area funders have stepped up to support the ABCD Allston Brighton Neighborhood Opportunity Center food pantry. The Boston College Allston-Brighton Community Fund has committed $3,000 and Cambridge Savings Bank has committed $15,000 . These funds will have a tremendous impact at the ABNOC food pantry that has already seen a 300% increase in demand for food pantry services. 

The RIZE Massachusetts Foundation has targeted $2,500 of COVID-19 relief funds to the ABCD Ostiguy Recovery High School. RIZE Massachusetts funds programs that help people experiencing substance use disorder and understand well how the students at Ostiguy Recovery High School may need additional support during this time. 
To provide baby formula to families with infants, Liberty Mutual Foundation has contributed $10,000 in COVID-19 relief funds. This emergency grant will provide 67 babies with a full month supply of formula. 

Eastern Bank has contributed $5,000 to support ABCD’s city-wide network of food pantries. This grant will result in more than 1,000 clients receiving nutritious food. 
The United Way and the Enhancing Tomorrow Foundation have provided $20,000 and $5,000 , respectively, to support a wide range of COVID-19 relief emergency services including: food pantry; access to baby formula, diapers, and wipes; rental assistance; and transportation.
ABCD is extremely grateful to all of these partners for their support in these unprecedented times! 

For more information about the ABCD COVID-19 Relief Fund, or other giving opportunities for your company or yourself, please contact Alexia Layne-Lomon, Director of Development & Grants at 617-634-2940 or alexia.laynelomon@bostonabcd.org .
Lyft provides ABCD clients with essential transportation
When the COVID-19 crisis struck, national ride sharing company Lyft shifted gears to address the critical transportation needs of the country’s most vulnerable communities. Already an ABCD partner providing career training clients with rides to training sessions, job interviews, and the first three weeks of work, Lyft quickly pivoted, modifying its Jobs Access Program to a COVID-19 Relief program.
During the month of April, Lyft, through its LyftUp social impact initiative, provided ABCD clients with access to essential services like doctor visits, grocery runs, and more. ABCD extends its thanks to Lyft for their compassion and their generous contribution. Learn more about LyftUp at their blog .  
In case you missed it!
  • Governor Baker has extended the Massachusetts Stay-at-home advisory until Monday, May 18th. Find out more details at mass.gov/covid-19.

  • The deadline for applying for Fuel Assistance has been extended to Friday, May 29th. During this time, Fuel Assistance staff is only available by phone. Visit bostonabcd.org/fuel-assistance to learn more.

  • Do you have questions about ABCD’s emergency services during this time? Check out the ABCD's Response to COVID-19 page to find out more information.
More Information
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Give Today.

The ABCD COVID-19 Relief Fund supports individuals and families with urgent needs for food, baby formula, diapers and wipes, cleaning supplies, rental assistance, and transportation. We hope you will consider making a donation to the ABCD COVID-19 Relief Fund today, so that ABCD can continue and expand this essential work.
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Action for Boston Community Development | 617-348-6000 |  bostonabcd.org