West Texas Food Bank

West Texas Food Bank and Darden Restaurants Partner to Advance Hunger Relief

West Texas Food Bank and Darden Restaurants Partner to Advance Hunger Relief March 25, 2014

Odessa, TX – March 25, 2014 – West Texas Food Bank today announced it has been selected to receive a $2,000 grant as part of the Restaurant Community Grants program from the Darden Restaurants Foundation, Inc., the charitable arm of Darden Restaurants. The grants program, now in its third year, empowers each restaurant in the Darden family of brands to help award a $2,000 grant to support local community programs. The donation will enable West Texas Food Bank’s project to provide food to West Texans who would otherwise go hungry.

Darden’s Red Lobster, Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Bahama Breeze, Seasons 52, The Capital Grille, Eddie V’s and Yard House 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. Nonprofits receiving grants support one of Darden’s three key focus areas: education, preservation of natural resources and hunger relief.

“We are grateful to Red Lobster, Olive Garden and all of the Darden restaurants for this grant. It will make a substantial impact by allowing us to provide 8,000 more meals to people in need right here in West Texas,” said Libby Campbell, West Texas Food Bank’s executive director.

“We strive to make a positive impact in all the communities our restaurants serve,” said Gene Lee, Darden’s president and chief operating officer. “Our employees are incredibly passionate about getting directly involved in their local communities, and our Restaurant Community Grants program enables each of our restaurant teams to make a difference right in their own backyard.”

For more information about the Darden Foundation, please visit www.dardenfoundation.com. For additional information on West Texas Food Bank please visit www.wtxfoodbank.org.

About West Texas Food Bank
The West Texas Food Bank provides for in need by distributing donated and purchased food through a network of over 80 Partner Agencies such as food pantries, shelters and soup kitchens serving 75,000 people in 19 counties throughout West Texas.

About Darden Restaurants
Darden Restaurants, Inc., (NYSE: DRI), owns and operates more than 2,100 restaurants that generate over $8.5 billion in annual sales. Headquartered in Orlando, Fla., and employing more than 200,000 people, Darden is recognized for a culture that rewards caring for and responding to people. In 2014, Darden was named to the FORTUNE "100 Best Companies to Work For" list for the fourth year in a row. 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 Darden Foundation’s mission is to maintain a spirit of service and community engagement as defining characteristics of Darden’s family of restaurants – Red Lobster, Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Bahama Breeze, Seasons 52, The Capital Grille, Eddie V’s and Yard House. Since 1995, the Darden Foundation has awarded more than $71 million in grants to leading nonprofit organizations that align with its mission and community priorities: Recipe for Success®, Preservation of Natural Resources and Good Neighbor grants. Through the Darden Harvest program, Darden Restaurants has also donated more than 66 million pounds of food to hunger relief agencies across the U.S. and Canada. In 2011, the Darden Foundation introduced the Restaurant Community Grants program that is dedicated to supporting local nonprofit organizations in the hundreds of communities where we live and serve. For more information, please visit www.dardenfoundation.com.