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The Foodbank of the Virginia Peninsula and Darden Restaurants Partner to Advance Providing Food Security in the Community

[Hampton, VA] – March 18, 2014 – The Foodbank of the Virginia Peninsula, the leading non-profit food relief organization serving the Greater Peninsula, today announced it has been selected to receive a $4,000 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 $1,000 grant to support local community programs. This donation will support the Foodbank in their mission to provide hunger relief to the almost 75,000 food insecure individuals across the Greater Peninsula region.

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 appreciate our partnership with all of the Darden Restaurants in our region”, said Michele Benson-Howell, Chief Development Officer of the Foodbank of the Virginia Peninsula. “Because of their generosity, we are able to provide approximately 16,000 meals to hungry individuals in our community.”

“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.”

“These funds, in addition to providing meals to the food insecure population, will allow the foodbank to increase nutrition education outreach initiatives,” adds Benson-Howell.

For more information about the Darden Foundation, please visit www.dardenfoundation.com. For additional information on the Foodbank of the Virginia Peninsula, please visit www.hrfoodbank.org.

About the Foodbank of the Virginia Peninsula

Headquartered in Hampton, VA, the Foodbank of the Virginia Peninsula serves 9 cities and counties across the Greater Peninsula. The Foodbank has been a leading non-profit food relief organization for the past 28 years. Charity Navigator has rated us as a four star charity for ten consecutive years. The Foodbank’s 200 plus member agency network enabled us to distribute 9.9 million pounds of food last year.  Our vision is to inspire hope by leading the effort for a hunger free and properly nourished community. 97% of all expenses are devoted to programs. For more information, visit us online at www.hrfoodbank.org, on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/VAPenFoodbank, and on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/hrfoodbank.

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.

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