Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS awarded a record $2,827,500 in grants last week to 141 food service and meal delivery programs across the country, the product of the appeals made across Broadway, Off-Broadway and by national tours during Red Bucket fall fundraising and from the year-end campaign.
The 2023 annual grants were awarded February 2, 2023, by a committee of 20 Broadway stage managers and actors who were integral in Broadway Cares’ in-theater fundraising efforts. This essential first grant round in Broadway Cares’ 2023 National Grants Program surpassed by more than $300,000 last year’s food grants record of $2.5 million.
Communities across the country will benefit from the 141 programs and organizations receiving funding. The food grants ensure that those affected by HIV/AIDS, COVID-19 and other life-threatening illnesses can get access to healthy meals through food pantries, meal deliveries and congregate food programs. These vital programs and organizations are too often underserved, over-looked or work with limited access to resources from larger funders, foundations and government. The organizations receiving 2023 food grants are in 38 states, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C.
“Food is medicine,” Broadway Cares Executive Director Tom Viola said. “Whether you need it to ensure the effectiveness of daily medication for HIV or other chronic illness, are recovering from the challenges of long-term disability or homelessness, or simply to sustain your own well-being, regular meals and sustained nutrition is necessary for people to live dignified, healthy lives. The ultimate beneficiaries of the grants - the hundreds of thousands served by the organizations - will be relieved not having to decide between food or utility bills, freed from isolation thanks to daily home-delivered lunches and warmed by the joy of seeing their children fed.”
The $2.8 million just awarded is in addition to $5.9 million that has been provided so far this fiscal year to the Entertainment Community Fund (formerly The Actors Fund). The Fund provides a safety net of social services for those in the entertainment industry and the performing arts.
This spring, Broadway Cares’ National Grants Program will award additional grants to nationally recognized AIDS service organizations, health clinics and advocacy organizations and to theater and entertainment industry social service agencies. This summer, grants will be awarded to social service organizations whose work includes direct services, emergency financial assistance, harm reduction programs and quality of life services.
The food grants support organizations large and small, in cities, suburbs and rural areas nationwide. Some, like AIDS Circle of Hope of North Central Texas in Wichita Falls are entirely volunteer run, offering a twice-a-month food pantry and serving 11 counties. This year’s $25,000 grant to AIDS Circle of Hope will cover its annual budget.
Others, such as God’s Love We Deliver in New York City, serve more than 13,000 meals every weekday. The $50,000 grant God’s Love receives will support its daily food delivery program for people living across New York’s five boroughs and neighboring communities.
Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is one of the nation’s leading industry-based, nonprofit AIDS fundraising and grant-making organizations. By drawing upon the talents, resources and generosity of the American theater community, since 1988 Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS has raised more than $300 million for essential services for people with HIV/AIDS, COVID-19 and other critical illnesses across the United States.
Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is the major supporter of the social service programs at the Entertainment Community Fund (formerly The Actors Fund), including the HIV/AIDS Initiative, The Friedman Health Center for the Performing Arts and the Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative. Broadway Cares also awards annual grants to more than 485 AIDS and family service organizations in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., providing lifesaving medication, healthy meals, counseling and emergency assistance.