Broadway Cares Issues Record-Breaking $2.45 Million in Food Grants
Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS announced that they have granted a record-breaking $2,452,500 to 131 food service and meal delivery programs in 37 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington DC. The food grants, part of Broadway Cares’ National Grants Program, 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 other food programs.
The $2.45 million awarded in this Food Service and Meal Delivery grant round is in addition to $5.7 million that has been awarded to The Actors Fund since October 1, 2020, the beginning of Broadway Cares’ fiscal year. Additional grants through the National Grants Program and to The Actors Fund will be made this spring.
The 2021 total tops last year’s pre-pandemic support of $2.3 million, a notable 6% increase over that record grant round. These grants are even more critical now as the federal food stamps program addresses a nearly 23 percent increase in need in the past year, and 24 million Americans currently say they often or sometimes do not have enough to eat.
Among the 131 organizations receiving grants, twenty-one are from New York City, including programs that reach into all five boroughs. Eight of those twenty-one organizations provide services to friends, neighbors and colleagues in the heart of New York’s Theater District, including many who before this year have never needed this assistance.
Broadway Cares Executive Director Tom Viola said in a press release, “A decent meal can be the first line of defense, the road back to health and recovery. Access to that meal can be difficult in the best of circumstances. During a pandemic, when we’re told to not even think about venturing outside, access to the safety net of support hits the most vulnerable the hardest. These grants underscore our community’s commitment to shining a bright spotlight on those in need, even on our country’s darkest days.”
The record grants were made possible by the ongoing generosity of donors and supporters of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, the philanthropic heart of Broadway. As part of a year-end fundraising initiative, Craig Newmark Philanthropies offered a $250,000 matching donation specifically to help propel these food grants. With help from the thousands of donors who responded to the matching donation, the 2021 food grants defied current economic challenges and were a $135,500 increase over the 2020 grants. Over the last five years, Broadway Cares’ support for meal delivery services, congregate meal programs and food pantries has increased 28%.
Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is the major supporter of the social service programs at The Actors Fund, including the HIV/AIDS Initiative, the Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative and the Samuel J. Friedman Health Center for the Performing Arts. Broadway Cares also awards annual grants to more than 450 AIDS and family service organizations in all fifty states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, DC.
For more information, visit Broadway Cares online at www.broadwaycares.org.
—Reporting by Hank Trout
Hank Trout, Senior Editor, edited Drummer, Malebox, and Folsom magazines in the early 1980s. A long-term survivor of HIV/AIDS (diagnosed in 1989), he is a forty-year resident of San Francisco, where he lives with his husband Rick.