Making an Impact
Darden’s Restaurant Community Grants program is a local grants initiative that helps support nonprofit organizations in the hundreds of communities Darden and its restaurant brands serve.
In partnership with the Darden Foundation, every restaurant in the Darden family - Red Lobster, Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Bahama Breeze, Seasons 52, The Capital Grille and Eddie V’s - had the opportunity to help award a $1,000 grant to an exceptional nonprofit organization in its local community. In its second year, the program resulted in more $1.9 million in grants to 855 exceptional nonprofits across the United States and Canada. These community grants will fund local projects across three focus areas: access to postsecondary education, preservation of natural resources and hunger.
As the economy continues to place an increasingly challenging strain on local charities, this program demonstrates how our restaurant teams extend our service philosophy beyond the walls of our restaurants and into the community.
Each grant is more than a check it is a defining opportunity for our restaurants to strengthen relationships with nonprofit organizations doing valuable work in the community.
By funding exceptional, local nonprofit organizations, our restaurant teams are taking steps to invest in and enhance their communities. Every restaurant team had a hand in helping select a local organization to receive a grant and is encouraged to remain engaged with the nonprofit throughout the year. Many Darden restaurants partnered to combine their grant dollars to make a deeper impact for local charities.
This year, our restaurants are supporting organizations such as:
- Capital Area Food Bank
- In Darden’s largest donation to a single nonprofit, 23 surrounding Red Lobster, Olive Garden and Seasons 52 restaurants are partnering to support Capital Area Food Bank in Washington D.C. with a $23,000 grant. This Feeding America food bank helps feed 478,100 food-insecure people annually.
- Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta
- Twenty-eight Red Lobster, Capital Grille, Olive Garden and Longhorn Steakhouse restaurants are partnering to grant $28,000 to multiple branches of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta to provide vital postsecondary education programs that enhance student performance and encourage high school graduation, college attendance and career exploration.
- Orange County CoastKeeper
- Six Olive Gardens in the greater Los Angeles area are working together to support Orange County CoastKeeper, a public, interactive, educational space, with a purpose to preserve our natural resources by promoting sustainable landscaping practices. The 2.5-acre garden is a unique setting where people can learn about the region's local ecology and principles of environmental stewardship.
- Twenty-one Capital Grille, Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Bahama Breeze and Longhorn Steakhouse restaurants in Philadelphia are collaborating to award a $21,000 grant to Philabundance, a Feeding America food bank, to support the Philabundance Community Kitchen program. This program is a 14-week culinary arts job training program for low-income individuals to gain the skills needed for sustainable employment in the food service industry.
- Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Houston
- Seven Olive Garden, Longhorn Steakhouse and Eddie V’s restaurants collaborated to support Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Houston. For more than six decades, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Houston has provided educational programming designed to enable thousands of youth ages seven to 18 to achieve academic success, graduate from high school and develop college readiness.
Interested in applying?
Please check back with us in October 2013 for more information about participating in the 2014 program. If you have any questions, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with "Darden’s Restaurant Community Grants" in the subject line.