The Food Bank of South Jersey and Darden Restaurants Partner to Fight Hunger

Grant is one of more than 850 awarded through Darden’s 2nd annual Restaurant Community Grants program

Pennsauken, NJ, April 27, 2013 --( The Food Bank of South Jersey (FBSJ), fighting hunger and promoting healthy nutrition since 1985 today announced it has received a $3,000 grant as part of the Restaurant Community Grants program from the Darden Foundation, the charitable arm of Darden Restaurants Inc. The grants program, now in its second year, empowers each restaurant in the Darden family of brands to help award a $1,000 grant to support local community programs. The donation will enable FBSJ to provide 15,000 meals for food-insecure children, at-risk seniors and struggling families in Southern New Jersey.

Darden’s Red Lobster, Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Bahama Breeze, Seasons 52, The Capital Grille and Eddie V’s 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. The restaurants will award more than $1.9 million to more than 850 exceptional nonprofit organizations in the U.S. and Canada. Nonprofits receiving grants support one of Darden’s three key focus areas: access to postsecondary education, preservation of natural resources and hunger.

“Right here in South Jersey, one in four children do not know when or where they will get their next meal. One in six South Jersey seniors struggle with the difficult choice of paying for prescriptions or food. This Darden Restaurant Grant from the Olive Gardens in Deptford and Cherry Hill and the Bahama Breeze in Cherry Hill will support the Food Bank of South Jersey’s programs for children, seniors, and families in need. We are very proud to have been selected by these local restaurants to partner in their initiative to fight hunger,” states Val Traore, CEO of the Food Bank of South Jersey.

“Our employees are incredibly passionate about the communities where they live, and our restaurant teams are in a position to understand and help address the needs of their communities,” said Drew Madsen, Darden Restaurants’ president and chief operating officer. “We’re all proud to build on that passion through the grants program and bring real, local citizenship to life by enabling each restaurant to make a difference in their backyard.”

The Food Bank of South Jersey distributes ten to twelve million pounds of food annually through their network of over 250 charitable agencies, food pantries, and shelters. FBSJ’s direct programs like Kidz Pack, Kids Café and the Snack Zone ensure children have at least one nutritious meal or snack per day. Cooking Matters, and Wonder Chefs are part of the Healthy Living initiative teaching children and adults how to prepare healthy, nutrient dense meals from low cost groceries.

For more information about the Darden Foundation, please visit For additional information on The Food Bank of South Jersey please visit

About The Food Bank of South Jersey
The Food Bank of South Jersey is the leader in providing safe and nutritional food to people in need in South Jersey. We distribute food, teach nutrition education and cooking and help people find sustainable ways to improve their lives. To learn more about our important work, please visit

About Darden Restaurants
Darden Restaurants, Inc., (NYSE: DRI), the world’s largest full-service restaurant company, owns and operates more than 2,000 restaurants that generate over $8.0 billion in annual sales. Headquartered in Orlando, Fla., and employing more than 190,000 people, Darden is recognized for a culture that rewards caring for and responding to people. In 2013, Darden was named to the FORTUNE “100 Best Companies to Work For” list for the third year in a row and is the only full-service restaurant company to ever appear on the list. 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,

The Darden Foundation
The Darden Restaurants, Inc. Foundation is the charitable arm of Darden Restaurants, Inc. The Foundation’s mission is to maintain a spirit of volunteerism and philanthropy as defining characteristics of Darden Restaurants. Since 1995, the Darden Foundation has awarded more than $60 million in grants, with $7.2 million given in fiscal year 2012. The Darden Foundation carries out its mission by focusing philanthropic efforts and resources on the following program areas: Access to Postsecondary Education, Preservation of Natural Resources and Good Neighbor Grants. For more information, please visit,
Food Bank of South Jersey
Chris Seabo