Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS sent $250,000 in emergency grants, made in the name of the Broadway community, to five food banks helping Florida residents who continue to recover and rebuild from the catastrophic damage caused by Hurricane Ian.
These grants, awarded October 19, 2022, include $150,000 to Feeding Florida, a network of 12 food banks across the state, and $25,000 each to four local food banks in areas hit hardest by the hurricane: All Faiths Food Bank in Sarasota, Feeding Tampa Bay, the Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida in Ft. Myers and Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida in Orlando.
“In times like these, it is crucial that those with the ability to do so offer a helping hand, which is what the Broadway community has done time and again,” said Tom Viola, executive director of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. “On behalf of that entire community – those onstage, backstage and in the audience – we say to those in Florida facing challenging times, ‘You are not alone in your great distress and recovery.’ While we can never respond adequately to the overwhelming destruction of homes and infrastructure, we can make a difference in how those most affected and displaced are taken care of, particularly around meals, personal care items and clean water.”
Hurricane Ian made landfall in southwest Florida as a Category 4 storm on September 28, 2022. It was the deadliest hurricane to tear through the state in 87 years, killing more than 100. The storm and its surge caused flooding throughout much of central Florida and the gulf coast, leaving millions without power and countless families without a home or food in the storm’s aftermath.
“The Feeding Florida network could not do this critical work without the generous support of those stepping up when disaster strikes, and the Broadway community is key among them,” Feeding Florida Executive Director Robin Safley said. “Our food banks and their partner agencies are embedded in these communities and in it for the long haul; they know better than anyone how to care for their neighbors during this difficult time.”
When disaster strikes, Broadway Cares, on behalf of the theater community, consistently steps up to provide emergency help to agencies and organizations providing immediate, on-the-ground help. In September 2022, with an emergency grant to the Hispanic Federation, Broadway Cares provided $250,000 for urgent services and relief in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Fiona, which made landfall on September 18. Some areas received more than 30 inches of rain and thousands remain without power weeks later. Read more about Puerto Rico emergency grant.
Photos courtesy The Feeding Florida Network