GRANT AWARDED THROUGH DARDEN'S THIRD ANNUAL RESTAURANT COMMUNITY GRANTS PROGRAM
The donation will enable CRAEF to provide scholarship outreach and support to selected Southern California schools, as well as to support job-readiness training through the Foundation's new FIT initiative.
“CRAEF is beyond proud to receive this support from Darden, which will help us continue to connect youth to the resources they need to pursue careers and higher learning in the industry,” CRAEF Executive Director Alycia Harshfield said.
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 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, visit dardenfoundation.com.For more information about CRAEF, visit craef.org.
About the California Restaurant Association Educational Foundation: The California Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (CRAEF) has awarded more than $1 million in scholarships and grants since its inception in 1981. CRAEF works to enhance education and training programs within the hospitality industry. ProStart is a two-year program designed to prepare high school juniors and seniors for exciting careers in foodservice.
About Darden Restaurants: Darden Restaurants Inc., the world's largest full-service restaurant company, owns and operates more than 2,000 restaurants that generate over $8 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, visit darden.com.
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, visit, dardenfoundation.com.