This is an exciting time in Darden's history! As our company has grown, our opportunities to make a difference in the communities where we live and work have also increased. And we challenge ourselves to rise to the
With 180,000 employees, 2,000 restaurants and a culture that is based on caring for and responding to people, Darden works to bring a spirit of service to life every day in our restaurants and communities through our philanthropic support of charitable organizations across the country and by the volunteer involvement of
A great example of this was our inaugural Darden Restaurants Community Grants program that was launched this year. In partnership with the Darden Foundation, every restaurant in the Darden family had the opportunity to help award a $1,000 grant to an exceptional nonprofit organization in its local community. The result was more than $1.7 million given to nearly 900 nonprofit organizations in communities across the United States and Canada. It was also a great example of collaboration, as many of our restaurants worked together to make a deeper impact for local nonprofits and their communities.
We've also seen some exciting successes and impact as a result of our signature philanthropic platform and largest area of focus, Recipe for SuccessTM. Higher education resonates as a priority with our guests and our employees, because at our core, Darden stands for opportunity. It is intrinsically linked to Darden's culture of helping people achieve their goals, and we believe that postsecondary education is the access point for individual opportunity and success.
As you'll see, there are many successes to share, but there is also much work still to be done. I am proud and honored to share with you where we are on this journey through our Darden Community Service Report. I also invite you to stand with us as we continue to invest in our communities to sustain and enhance them for
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Darden Restaurants, Inc.