News Release Details

Darden Restaurants, Inc. Foundation Releases its 2011 Community Service Report

October 19, 2011

Report underscores Darden's commitment to supporting communities and highlights the impact of its 1,900 restaurants

ORLANDO, Fla., Oct. 19 /CSRwire/ - The Darden Foundation just released its 2011 Community Service Report showcasing its legacy of having an enduring influence and making a meaningful difference in the communities it serves.

The Darden Foundation works to continually bring to life the company's core value of "Being of Service," a concept that began 40 years ago with its founder, Bill Darden. Each brand comprising 1,900 restaurants in the Darden family – Red Lobster, Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, The Capital Grille, Bahama Breeze and Seasons 52 – is committed to fulfilling the company's core purpose of nourishing and delighting everyone it serves and that purpose extends well beyond the walls of its restaurants.

"Our 2011 report highlights some of our key partners, but only begins to explore the scale and depth of our commitment to reinvesting in every community where we live and work," said Angela Woods, director of community affairs, Darden Restaurants, Inc.

The 2011 Community Service Report outlines the Darden Foundation's three key focus areas:

  • Access to Postsecondary Education – Through initiatives like Recipe for Success™, Darden seeks partnerships to positively impact the educational prospects of underserved youth, ages 14 to 18, in middle and high school by providing access to the tools and information needed to pursue higher education.
  • Preservation of Natural ResourcesDarden supports organizations whose mission is to restore and preserve water and land ecosystems while teaching members of the community about environmental sustainability and conservation.
  • Good Neighbor GrantsAcross the country, Darden partners with vital organizations and efforts they believe are core to the success and vibrancy of every community they serve. This includes Habitat for Humanity through furniture donations from every remodeled Darden restaurant to its ReStore outlets, the American Red Cross Annual Disaster Giving Program, and local food banks in communities across the United States through its Darden Harvest food donation program.

To read the Darden Foundation's 2011 Community Service Report in full, please visit http://www.dardenfoundation.com.

Darden Foundation's annual Community Service report is built on a rich heritage of being of service to others – a concept that was instilled by its founder. 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 grants that total more than $58 million, with annual giving of around $6 million. For more information on the Darden Foundation, please visit http://www.dardenfoundation.com.

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 more than $7.5 billion in annual sales. Headquartered in Orlando, and employing approximately 180,000 people, Darden is recognized for a culture that rewards caring for and responding to people. In 2011, Darden became the first full-service restaurant company ever to be named to the FORTUNE "100 Best Companies to Work For" list. Our restaurant brands — Red Lobster, Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, The Capital Grille, Bahama Breeze and Seasons 52 — 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 ("Foundation") is a private nonprofit corporation under Section 501©(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and was organized to administer charitable funds for the benefit of communities. The Foundation's sponsor is Darden Restaurants, Inc. ("Darden"). Darden (NYSE:DRI) is the world's largest company-owned and operated full-service restaurant company with over $7 billion in annual sales and approximately 180,000 employees.