West End Pantry Is Looking at Changes 

Posted by ABCD Public Information 1/24/2014 Categories: Head Start Low income & poor families sequestration



January 24, 2014

West End Pantry Is Looking at Changes

by Eddie Small, Courant News Writer

The recent $1.1 trillion spending bill passed by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama has reversed some of the nation’s sequestration budget cuts, spurring optimism at Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD), the city’s antipoverty agency.

The ABCD, which runs the West End Food Pantry and offers services such as fuel assistance and the early childhood education program Head Start, had to cut back on about 100 staff members due to the sequester, according to President and CEO John Drew.  Although he did not know for sure how much restored funding and programming ABCD would see from the new federal budget, he was hopeful that the group would get something.

“I don’t want it to get lost down in Washington,” he said. “I want it to come back to where they took it.”

Lia Tota, director of the North End/West End Neighborhood Service Center, said possible adjustments are underway at the West End Food Pantry as well, which is attempting to change its hours of operation to get a permit from the Greater Boston Food Bank.

The pantry, located in the Boston Public Library’s (BPL) West End branch at 151 Cambridge Street, does not have a permit because the food bank says there are already too many food pantries open in the area. This means it cannot get supplies from the food bank and instead relies on shopping at different supermarkets, generally a more expensive option.

“We could, of course, save a lot of money if we went shopping at the food bank, and we would be able to replenish the food more easily and more readily,” Tota said. “So it would be good for the community.”

About 120 people come to the food pantry each month, according to Tota. In June, Helen Bender of BPL’s West End Branch wrote in an email that donations for the pantry were “desperately needed.”

The Greater Boston Food Bank did not respond to requests for comment.  

In order to get a permit from the food bank, the West End Food Pantry will have to change its hours to include either a weekend or an evening to differentiate itself from other neighboring pantries. Its current hours are Mondays and Wednesdays from 11 am until 1:30 pm, but it is looking into switching one of those days and times to Thursday nights or Saturday in the late morning or early afternoon, which could help benefit the working poor. Such changes would have to be cleared with the library.

Tota did not know what the timeline for this process would look like.  “We’re just in the process of applying, and we’ll see,” she said.

Federal cuts threaten families who depend on heating assistance  

Posted by ABCD Public Information 12/16/2013 Categories: Fuel Assistance LiHEAP Low income & poor families sequestration

by Janet Wu, WCVB-TV 5 Boston


Federal cuts threaten families who depend on heating assistance


Watch video.  

Fuel assistance drying up 50,000 Mass. households to run out of heating oil by Christmas 

Posted by ABCD Public Information 12/15/2013 Categories: Fuel Assistance LiHEAP Low income & poor families sequestration

By Jordan Graham, Boston Herald Sunday, December 15, 2013

COLD FACTS: Sara Ramos of ABCD client services in Boston, right, talks to a client about fuel assistance, which is set to run out this month.

Community activists are urging the federal government to increase fuel assistance funding, saying 50,000 households across the Bay State who depend on the aid to heat their homes may be left out in the cold by Christmas.

“We have thousands of households who do not have enough assistance,” said John Drew, CEO of Action for Boston Community Development. “We’re not in a position to help a lot of people right now.”

ABCD has significantly less money this year, in part because of the federal sequester, to provide fuel assistance benefits to those who heat their homes with oil, Drew said.

Read more.


Food pantries fear EBT cuts Deductions to boost need for aid - See more at: http://bostonherald.com/business/business_markets/2013/11/food_pantries_fear_ebt_cuts#sthash.esYW8B3G.dpuf 

Posted by ABCD Public Information 11/3/2013 Categories: Budget Cuts Fuel Assistance Government Shutdown Poverty sequestration Winter Emergency Campaign

By Jordan Graham, Boston Herald, Sunday, November 3, 2013

Local charities are bracing for a boost in requests for help now that almost half a million households in the Bay State that rely on government assistance to feed their families are getting less money thanks to the end of a federal stimulus program...“They’re taking away from people who really can’t afford to be taken away from,” said John Drew, president and CEO of ABCD.  Read More.

The sequester isn’t hurting you? Think again 

7/25/2013 Categories: sequestration

By Timothy Noah | msnbc

If you don’t think Washington’s budget sequestration is hurting you financially, you’re probably wrong. But before considering why you’re wrong, let’s think about how you acquired that foolish sense of invulnerability.

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Spending cuts taking hard toll on Head Start 

6/10/2013 Categories: ABCD Head Start sequestration

By Akilah Johnson |  GLOBE STAFF     JUNE 10, 2013

When the school year resumes this fall, at least 1,359 Massachusetts children — 259 more than earlier estimated — will probably not be in Head Start classrooms because of automatic across-the-board federal spending cuts.

The cuts, the legacy of so-called sequestration in Washington, will have a bigger impact than the federal government originally estimated, with slots for the preschoolers disappearing statewide, classrooms closing, jobs lost, and the school year ending early in some communities, officials say.

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ABCD Faced with Federal Cuts for Preschool 

6/3/2013 Categories: Budget Cuts Head Start sequestration

The director of Head Start and children's services at ABCD, Yvette Rodriguez, talks about the effect of automatic federal budget cuts under sequestration on the anti-poverty agency's preschool program for children from low-income families.

Watch the video

Budget Cuts Raise Anxiety Among Head Start Parents 

5/30/2013 Categories: ABCD Head Start sequestration

May 30, 2013

BNN News
From Chris Lovett

Automatic federal budget cuts are leading to layoffs and a drop in new enrollment of preschoolers from low-income families in the Head Start programs overseen by ABCD. 

Watch the video

Sequestration Cuts Affecting Our Children 

5/30/2013 Categories: ABCD Head Start sequestration

May 25, 2013 | Centro

Sequestration cuts are causing havoc on programs which help our children across the nation. 

Watch the video

Head Start Programs, Forced to Close Early, Still Have Funds For Flights 

5/3/2013 Categories: Head Start sequestration

By SARAH PARNASS (@WordsOfSarah)
May 3, 2013

By cutting funds for Head Start, sequestration has sent low-income children in some states home 10 days early. But the federal government's inability to agree on a budget didn't prevent 2,800 Head Start leaders from attending a three-day conference in National Harbor, Md., this week.

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