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  • Writer's pictureBeltsville News

Olive Garden Makes a Difference Fighting Hunger in the Community

Olive Garden General Manager takes donated surplus food out to nonprofit’s truck that picks up the food on a weekly basis.

According to Feeding America, a nonprofit organization, one in eight Americans are food insecure. That’s just one of the reasons 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 it for donation to a local nonprofit organization. Items like lasagna, soups, sauces, and vegetables are donated.

To date, the 16 Olive Garden restaurants in the DC metro area have donated more than 388 thousand pounds of food to local nonprofits. Locally, the Laurel Olive Garden regularly donates to Laurel Advocacy & Referral Services. Additionally, the Hyattsville location partners with Teen Challenge of DC.

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.

But that’s not all. 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 Prince George's County area. This donation is just the latest demonstration of Olive Garden’s commitment to Feeding America. In 2016, the Italian-inspired restaurant donated $500,000—the equivalent of 5.5 million meals—to the nonprofit in support of its mission for hunger relief.

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