After a record-breaking Red Bucket fall fundraising season, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS has awarded $2,827,500 in grants to 141 food service and meal delivery programs. 

The grants were awarded on Feb. 2 by a committee that included 20 Broadway stage managers and actors who were key players involved with the in-theater fall campaign. These first distributions from Broadway Cares’ 2023 National Grants Program exceeded last year’s food grants record of $2.5 million by more than $300,000.

These food grants benefit organizations in 38 states, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. The funds ensure that those living with HIV/AIDS, COVID-19 and other illnesses have access to healthy meals through food pantries, meal deliveries and other services.

The National Grants Program will provide additional awards to other organizations this spring and summer.

The fall 2022 fundraising campaign — which included three dozen participating Broadway, Off-Broadway and touring productions — raised a total of $5,107,791.

“Food is medicine,” Broadway Cares executive director Tom Viola said in a statement. “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.”