Under the ownership of Darden restaurants, Olive Garden has always promoted a culture of giving back to the community. With the same warmth and care of the staff in the restaurants, Olive Garden runs many programs that generate considerable donations to help cause worthy organizations.
Olive Garden Community Support
Here is a look at some of Olive Garden’s latest efforts.
$8.4M to Fight Cancer
Program: Pasta for Pennies
Proceeds go to: The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
- Over three million elementary students participate across 6,520 schools in the U.S.
- Students collect donations (mostly spare change) in collection boxes in the classroom for three weeks
- Class that raises the most in each school receives an Olive Garden hosted pasta party
- Downey, CA’s Warren High School raises an astonishing $42,216.97 to lead the nation for second consecutive year
- The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society researches cures for many blood-related cancers including leukemia and provides support services to families.
13 Aspiring Young Writers Given a Voice
Program: Pasta Tales
- Pasta Tales is an essay writing contest that is open to grade one through twelve students across the nation.
- Participants are asked to write an essay answer to the question: “Describe how furthering your education beyond high school will help make your dreams come true.”
- Ninth-grader Daniel Carr from Woodland Park, Colorado named this year’s winner out of over 28,000 entries.
- Pasta Tales program instills in children the importance of education and values with a focus on the future.
- As the grand prize winner, Daniel received $2,500 in savings bonds, a trip for him and family to New York City and, of course, a free dinner at Olive Garden. There was also a winner at each grade level, receiving $500 in savings bonds and a family dinner at a local Olive Garden restaurant.
Un-used Food Donated to Food Banks
Program: Darden Harvest
Description: Darden Harvest re-purposes the food patrons don’t order off the Olive Garden menu to help local food banks.
- Un-used food at the end of the day is frozen and packaged for local food banks to pick up.
- Olive Garden restaurant locations in the U.S. and Canada participate
- Over 35 million pounds of food has been donated to local community food banks that help families in need.