Second Harvest Food Bank and Darden Restaurants Partner to Advance the BackPack Program

Second Harvest Food Bank of the Mahoning Valley, a member Food Bank of Feeding America, has been selected to receive a $4,000 grant as part of the Restaurant Community Grants program from the Darden Foundation, the charitable arm of Darden Restaurants Inc. The grants program, now in its second year, empowers each restaurant in the Darden family of brands to help award a $1,000 grant to support local community programs. The donation will enable the Food Bank’s BackPack Program to provide 300 low-income, third- and fourth-grade children with nutritious, child friendly food so that they do not go hungry over the weekend.

Darden’s Red Lobster, Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Bahama Breeze, Seasons 52, The Capital Grille and Eddie V’s brands participated in the program. Many restaurants and brands worked together to award one nonprofit organization with a larger grant and make a greater impact in their community.  The restaurants will award more than $1.9 million to more than 850 exceptional nonprofit organizations in the U.S. and Canada. Nonprofits receiving grants support one of Darden’s three key focus areas: access to postsecondary education, preservation of natural resources and hunger.

 “We’re grateful to the Darden Foundation and our local Darden Restaurants for their continued support of feeding hungry children in our community,” said Michael Iberis, executive director of Second Harvest Food Bank of the Mahoning Valley.

“Our employees are incredibly passionate about the communities where they live, and our restaurant teams are in a position to understand and help address the needs of their communities,” said Drew Madsen, Darden Restaurants’ president and chief operating officer. “We’re all proud to build on that passion through the grants program and bring real, local citizenship to life by enabling each restaurant to make a difference in their backyard.”

The BackPack Program is a national program of Feeding America, and is designed to meet the needs of children when other resources for food are not available, such as weekends and holidays.

Second Harvest Food Bank of the Mahoning Valley, a member Food Bank of Feeding America, has been selected to receive a $4,000 grant as part of the Restaurant Community Grants program from the Darden Foundation, the charitable arm of Darden Restaurants Inc. The grants program, now in its second year, empowers each restaurant in the Darden family of brands to help award a $1,000 grant to support local community programs. The donation will enable the Food Bank’s BackPack Program to provide 300 low-income, third- and fourth-grade children with nutritious, child friendly food so that they do not go hungry over the weekend.

Darden’s Red Lobster, Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Bahama Breeze, Seasons 52, The Capital Grille and Eddie V’s brands participated in the program. Many restaurants and brands worked together to award one nonprofit organization with a larger grant and make a greater impact in their community.  The restaurants will award more than $1.9 million to more than 850 exceptional nonprofit organizations in the U.S. and Canada. Nonprofits receiving grants support one of Darden’s three key focus areas: access to postsecondary education, preservation of natural resources and hunger.

 “We’re grateful to the Darden Foundation and our local Darden Restaurants for their continued support of feeding hungry children in our community,” said Michael Iberis, executive director of Second Harvest Food Bank of the Mahoning Valley.

“Our employees are incredibly passionate about the communities where they live, and our restaurant teams are in a position to understand and help address the needs of their communities,” said Drew Madsen, Darden Restaurants’ president and chief operating officer. “We’re all proud to build on that passion through the grants program and bring real, local citizenship to life by enabling each restaurant to make a difference in their backyard.”

The BackPack Program is a national program of Feeding America, and is designed to meet the needs of children when other resources for food are not available, such as weekends and holidays.

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 over $8.0 billion in annual sales. Headquartered in Orlando, Fla., and employing more than 190,000 people, Darden is recognized for a culture that rewards caring for and responding to people. In 2013, Darden was named to the FORTUNE “100 Best Companies to Work For” list for the third 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.

 
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 $7.2 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. For more information, please visit, www.dardenfoundation.com.

IF YOU are in need of food dial 211 or call in
Columbiana & Mahoning Counties: (330) 747-2696; Trumbull County: (330) 393-1565

The Food Bank's mission is to solicit, store, and distribute food to hunger-relief organizations in Columbiana, Mahoning, and Trumbull counties; and to provide education and advocacy. We believe that no one should go hungry, and we are dedicated to building a community that makes food accessible to all people.

So no one goes hungry.

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