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Darden Restaurants Awards $465,000 in Local Grants to Boys & Girls Clubs Nationwide

Monday, April 30, 2012 12:00 PM

Inaugural Restaurant Community Grants program highlights Darden's ongoing support of postsecondary education initiatives

ATLANTA, April 30, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As part of the inaugural Darden Restaurant Community Grant program, over 200 Boys & Girls Clubs across the country have been selected to receive local grants totaling $465,000 from the Darden Foundation, the charitable arm of Darden Restaurants Inc. The Restaurant Community Grant program is a local grants initiative intended to help support nonprofit organizations in the hundreds of communities Darden and its restaurant brands serve. The donation will further support Boys & Girls Clubs' mission of enabling youth to reach their full potential and achieve academic success.

Many restaurants within the Darden family – including Red Lobster, Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, The Capital Grille, Bahama Breeze and Seasons 52 – are collaborating and combining their grant dollars to award more than $1.7 million in local grants to make a deeper impact for local nonprofits nationwide. Organizations receiving grants support one of Darden's three key focus areas: access to postsecondary education, preservation of natural resources and hunger. 465 restaurants in metropolitan areas such as Atlanta, Dallas, Chicago, Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles are collectively supporting educational programs for underserved youth within local Boys & Girls Clubs across the U.S.

"Each grant is not just a check – it is an opportunity to make an impact, from mentoring students in Phoenix, to providing essential supplies to food banks in Oregon and supporting environmental education in New England," said Drew Madsen, president and chief operating officer of Darden. "Our service philosophy extends far beyond the walls of our restaurants. These grants bring that philosophy to life by helping to develop a better future for those we serve, one community at a time."

Since 2008, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) and the Darden Foundation have partnered together creating the Recipe for Success™ program which incorporates highly interactive college-readiness workshops to help inspire Boys & Girls Club teens to pursue ambitious goals by introducing them to the possibilities of postsecondary education. Through this partnership, Darden has provided more than $500,000 in college scholarships to Boys & Girls Club teens. Education-focused initiatives, such as Recipe for Success™ and the Restaurant Community Grant program, have positively impacted the educational prospects of underserved youth in middle and high school, and continue to provide access to the tools and information needed to pursue their dreams of higher education.


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