Olive Garden makes a difference fighting hunger in Kent and Auburn communities

  • Thursday, December 14, 2017 12:53pm
  • Business
Olive Garden restaurants in the Seattle area have donated more than 429,700 pounds to local nonprofits. COURTESY PHOTO

Olive Garden restaurants in the Seattle area have donated more than 429,700 pounds to local nonprofits. COURTESY PHOTO

For the Reporter

According to Feeding America, one in eight Americans are food insecure. That’s just one of the reasons why Olive Garden has a long-standing tradition of feeding those who need it most in our local community.

For 14 years, the more than 800 restaurants nationwide have participated in Olive Garden Harvest. Through this program, restaurants gather unused, surplus food each week and prepare them for donation to a local nonprofit organization. Items like lasagna, soups, sauces and vegetables are donated.

To date, the 13 Olive Garden restaurants in the Seattle area have donated more than 429,700 pounds to local nonprofits. Locally, Olive Garden locations regularly donate to nonprofits, like Tacoma Rescue Mission, Annie’s Community Kitchen, Operation Sack Lunch and Salvation Army.

Olive Garden restaurants nationwide have donated more than 38 million pounds of food since 2003 to local community food banks through the program. This donation equates to 31.5 million meals.

All Darden Restaurants brands, including LongHorn Steakhouse, participate in the Harvest food donation program. Together, the family of brands have donated 100 million pounds of food – or 83.3 million meals – to nonprofits nationwide.

In addition to the harvest program, the Darden Foundation recently donated $1.7 million to Feeding America to further hunger relief efforts. Of that amount, $841,000 was donated on behalf of all Olive Garden locations, like the ones here in the Seattle area.

In 2016, the Italian-inspired restaurant donated $500,000 – the equivalent of 5.5 million meals – to the nonprofit in support of their mission for hunger relief.

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