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Darden Foundation Releases its 2012 Community Service Report

Darden celebrates a record year of giving back to communities

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ORLANDO, Fla., Sept. 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Today the Darden Foundation showcases its commitments and impacts to the communities it serves through the release of its 2012 Community Service Report: Ready and Willing to Serve. To read the 2012 report in full, please visit http://www.dardenfoundation.com.

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The 2012 report outlines milestones achieved in support of Darden Foundation's three key focus areas:

  • Access to Postsecondary Education – During fiscal year 2012, Darden Foundation donated nearly $1.9 million through its postsecondary education signature program, Recipe for Success™. The initiative focuses on enabling and empowering underserved youth to pave their own path to success by providing them with access to the tools and information needed to pursue higher education.
  • Preservation of Natural Resources – With an aim to further protect wildlife, preserve natural resources and teach environmental sustainability, Darden Foundation partnered with the National Recreation and Park Association to establish the Great American Trails program this year, which will refurbish trails in communities nationwide. 
  • Good Neighbor – Restaurants in the Darden family contributed more than 10 million pounds of prepared food to local food banks in communities across the U.S. and Canada through the Darden Harvest food donation program. Darden also launched its inaugural Restaurant Community Grants program, donating more than $1.7 million in grants to nearly 900 community-based nonprofits in communities its restaurant brands serve across North America.

"As our company grows, our opportunities to make a difference in the communities we serve also increase," said Angela Woods, Director, Darden Foundation and Community Affairs. "Our 2012 report reflects expanded commitments as we strive to make our communities more vibrant, sustainable places to live and work."

The Darden Foundation releases its annual report this year as a founding partner in the inaugural #GivingTuesday campaign, a national movement that celebrates the giving season around the holidays and inspires people to take collaborative action on November 27, 2012. Darden's support of #GivingTuesday is another example of the company's commitment to striving for community impact, especially at the local level where every effort can help build meaningful change.

These initiatives illustrate how Darden's philosophy of giving back extends well beyond the walls of its restaurants. The Darden Foundation works to inspire this spirit of service through its philanthropic support of charitable organizations across the country as well as the volunteer involvement of employees. Each of the 2,000 restaurants in the Darden family — Red Lobster, Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Bahama Breeze, Seasons 52, The Capital Grille, Eddie V's and Yard House — is committed to fulfilling the company's core purpose of nourishing and delighting everyone it serves.

About Darden Restaurants
Darden Restaurants, Inc., (NYSE: DRI), the world's largest full-service restaurant company, owns and operates more than 2,000 restaurants that generate $8.0 billion in annual sales. Headquartered in Orlando, and employing more than 185,000 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, Bahama Breeze, Seasons 52, The Capital Grille, Eddie V's and Yard House — 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.

About Darden Restaurants, Inc. 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 $65 million in grants, with annual giving of $7.2 million 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. For more information on the Darden Foundation, please visit http://www.dardenfoundation.com.

DRI:G

SOURCE Darden Restaurants, Inc.: General



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http://www.dardenfoundation.com

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