As poverty curbs families’ spending, need for holiday assistance soars

Bianny Suncar, (left) director of ABCD’s Mattapan Family Service Center and organizer of the ABCD Winter Fund Toy Drive, receives a donation from Andrea Battaglia of CRICO, who is representing the CRICO Cares Committee.

As people across Massachusetts continue to grapple with some of the nation’s highest costs of living, families in Greater Boston are reaching out for help as the holiday season approaches.

Despite inflation both nationwide and in Boston continuing to decline, the city remains one of the most expensive in the country, with median rent prices surpassing $3,400 per month — 73% higher than the national median, according to Zillow.com.

Action for Boston Community Development, known as ABCD, is an anti-poverty nonprofit with 12 community development centers in Dorchester, Mattapan and other parts of the city that work year-round to assist families facing extreme poverty. The organization relies largely on donations to organize its annual toy drive, under its larger “Winter Fund” program, which assists families with basic necessities like clothing and food.