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Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month by Giving Back

November 03, 2014

By: Diego Pereda, Intranet Editor-in-Chief, Darden Restaurants

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month by Giving Back

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Recently, Darden's Hispanic Employee Resource Group (ERG) wrapped up this year's celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. This year, our Hispanic Heritage Month celebration featured some great events, including a Paella cooking class, a networking event at The Capital Grille, a motivational speaker and panel discussion, and a community service project to help fight global hunger. All of the events had a common theme this year: Passion! Passion for community, passion for diversity, passion for food, passion for innovation.

I enjoyed working with the team to plan all these events, but my favorite was the community service project we hosted with Feeding Children Everywhere. They are a social charity that empowers and mobilizes people to assemble healthy meals for hungry children around the world.  What made this event truly spectacular was that we partnered with the other ERGs at Darden (Darden African-American Network, Darden Asian Network, Pride Alliance, Darden Women’s Network and more) to pack more than 9,500 meals for children in the Orlando region.  This event gave us a great opportunity to share our PASSION for community service with other ERGs in a fun and team–building setting. It was a great example of what a diverse team can achieve when we all work together towards a common objective. 

Fighting hunger is a passion for many at our Restaurant Support Center and for Darden as a whole. In fact, every Darden restaurant donates unused food to their local food banks, shelters and other charitable organizations. To date, our restaurants have donated more than 77 million pounds of food, which is equivalent to more than 100 million meals.

During our Feeding Children Everywhere event, we packaged healthy meals of lentil casseroles. In each bag were lentils, vegetables, rice and pink Himalayan salt. Each meal is all-natural with no artificial flavorings or vitamin mixes, and every pack contains six meals. It was a great feeling to know that we were able to provide more than 9,500 meals for hungry children.

For a look at our event, view this video.

By: Diego Pereda, Intranet Editor-in-Chief, Darden Restaurants; Communications Chair, Hispanic Employee Resource Group

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