Feeding America Announces $349,000 in Grants from the Darden Restaurants Community Grants Program

April 30, 2012

Feeding America®, the nation's largest domestic hunger-relief organization, announced today that the Darden Foundation, the charitable arm of Darden Restaurants Inc., awarded $349,000 in grants to Feeding America network food banks through 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. The 349 Darden restaurants that chose to award a grant to a Feeding America food bank worked together to provide a total of 111 grants totaling $349,000.

"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."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."

"The Darden Foundation's Community Grants program is a great example of Darden Restaurants' commitment to giving back to their local communities," said Vicki Escarra, Feeding America's president and CEO."Food insecurity exists in every county in the United States, and Feeding America's network food banks make efficient use of funds to get much-needed food into the hands of children, families and seniors. We thank Darden for their generosity."

For more information about hunger in your community, view Feeding America's county by county food insecurity data developed for Map the Meal Gap.


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About Feeding America

Feeding America® is the largest hunger-relief organization in the United States. Through a network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs, we provide meals to more than 40 million people each year. Feeding America also supports programs that prevent food waste and improve food security among the people we serve; educates the public about the problem of hunger; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Visit www.feedingamerica.org, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

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.