Submitted by: Darden Restaurants, Inc
Posted: Apr 30, 2012 – 09:00 AM EST
ORLANDO, Fla., Apr. 30 /CSRwire/ - Today, the Darden Foundation, the charitable arm of Darden Restaurants Inc., announces it is awarding more than $1.7 million to nearly 900 nonprofit organizations in communities across the U.S. and Canada as part of its inaugural Darden Restaurants Community Grants Program. The local grants program is intended to help support nonprofit organizations in the hundreds of communities Darden and its restaurant brands serve. Every restaurant within the Darden family had the opportunity to help award a $1,000 grant to a nonprofit organization in its local community.
“Each grant is more than a check – it is a defining opportunity for our restaurant teams to enhance their community and strengthen relationships with nonprofit organizations doing important work in every community we serve,” said Drew Madsen, president and chief operating officer of Darden Restaurants, Inc. “Our restaurants are supporting groups like the Oregon Food Bank that is providing essential supplies to combat local hunger, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas that mentors 500 students a week, and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation that is providing environmental education throughout New England.”
Grants are being awarded to nonprofit projects that are aligned with Darden’s three key focus areas:
Many Darden restaurants, which include Red Lobster, Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, The Capital Grille, Bahama Breeze and Seasons 52, are collaborating and combining their grant dollars to make a deeper impact for local nonprofits. Restaurants in metropolitan areas such as Atlanta, Dallas, Chicago, Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles among others will collectively donate more than $465,000 in support of educational programs for underserved youth through local Boys & Girls Clubs.
“The Darden Restaurants Community Grant Program is an excellent example of a national initiative making a major local impact,” said Jim Clark, president and CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of America. “More than 460 Darden restaurants awarded grants to local Boys & Girls Clubs across the country. These vital funds provide targeted education programs for the young people who need us most. When we work with socially conscious corporations like Darden Restaurants,
it fosters greater community engagement while helping secure great futures for more of America’s youth.”
Following are examples of grants being awarded by the Darden Foundation across the country:
The Darden Restaurant Community Grants Program was built on the company’s rich heritage of being of service to others – a concept that began 70 years ago with its founder, Bill Darden. Darden’s service philosophy extends beyond the walls of its restaurants and into the communities the company serves. The Darden Foundation works to bring to life this spirit of service through its philanthropic support of local charitable organizations across communities in North America. Since 1995, the Darden Foundation has awarded more than $60 million in grants. Total giving in fiscal year 2012 amounted to $7.8 million, 20 percent of which is represented by the Restaurant Community Grants Program. For more information about the Darden Foundation, please visit http://www.darden.com/commitment/community.asp.
About Darden Restaurants
Darden Restaurants, Inc., (NYSE: DRI), the world's largest full-service restaurant company, owns and operates more than 1,900 restaurants that generate over $7.5 billion in annual sales. Headquartered in Orlando, and employing 180,000 people, Darden is recognized for a culture that rewards caring for and responding to people. In 2012, Darden was named to the FORTUNE "100 Best Companies to Work For" list for the second year in a row and is the only full-service restaurant company to ever appear on the list. Our restaurant brands — Red Lobster, Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, The Capital Grille, Bahama Breeze, Seasons 52 and Eddie V's — reflect the rich diversity of those who dine with us. Our brands are built on deep insights into what our guests want. For more information, please visit www.darden.com.
The Darden Foundation
The Darden Restaurants, Inc. Foundation is the charitable arm of Darden Restaurants, Inc. The Foundation’s mission is to maintain a spirit of volunteerism and philanthropy as defining characteristics of Darden Restaurants. Since 1995, the Darden Foundation has awarded more than $60 million in grants, with $7.8 million given in fiscal year 2012. The Darden Foundation carries out its mission by focusing philanthropic efforts and resources on the following program areas: Access to Postsecondary Education, Preservation of Natural Resources and Good Neighbor Grants.
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