The Darden Foundation
The Darden Foundation was founded in 1995, but "Being of Service" is a philosophy that began more than 70 years ago with our founder, Bill Darden. In partnership with more than 1,500 restaurants and 150,000 employees, the Darden Foundation works each day — through grantmaking and strong partnerships — to bring a tradition of service to life in every community we serve.
The Darden Foundation invests resources in three key areas that align with our passion for People, Planet and Plate: Recipe for Success®, Preservation of Natural Resources and Good Neighbor. By focusing efforts on these three areas — and choosing the right partners — we believe we make a deeper, more meaningful and enduring impact on issues that are important to our world.
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 – 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. For more information, please visit www.dardenfoundation.com.
Being a Good Neighbor is believing the service outside our restaurants is as meaningful as the service inside. More importantly, it’s supporting that belief through local action. We support the critical services of hunger relief, disaster relief and shelter across the country, as well as integral community programs in Central Florida, our home for nearly 50 years.
A dedicated partner of the American Red Cross since 1997 and an American Red Cross Annual Disaster Giving Program (ADGP) member since 2010, Darden has helped ensure that trained workers, shelters and supplies are at the ready year-round. During 2012, meals and bottled water from Darden Restaurants kept people fed and hydrated in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania after Superstorm Sandy; in Mississippi after Hurricane Isaac; in Colorado, where wildfires raged; and in Connecticut following the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
In addition, alongside its ADGP commitment of $50,000 to the American Red Cross Mid-Florida Region, Darden Restaurants’ executive leadership and associates are active participants in the region’s boards, services and programs.
Our Teams in Action
At the end of April, a half-mile wide deadly tornado ripped through central Arkansas. The tornado was on the ground for more than one hour taking the lives of residents and destroying communities. The American Red Cross jumped into action and opened shelters, provided health services and distributed food to the affected areas.
Working Together in the Face of Natural Disasters
As is the case with all natural disasters, when a series of powerful tornadoes ripped through the Midwest, the American Red Cross was there to help. On November 17, severe storms and more than 50 tornadoes impacted Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan and Kentucky. These devastating storms, including two extremely powerful tornadoes, destroyed or damaged thousands of homes, closed roads and left more than 750,000 residents without power.