Raleigh, N.C. (May 8, 2015) –The N.C. Hospitality Education Foundation (NC HEF), the philanthropic arm of the N.C. Restaurant & Lodging Association, has been selected by LongHorn Steakhouse and Olive Garden in Monroe, Hickory and Asheville to receive a $4,000 grant as part of the Darden Restaurants Foundation Restaurant Community Grants program. The donation will enable NC HEF to create scholarships for North Carolina youth interested in pursuing a post-secondary education in hospitality.
“Demand for qualified workers in the hospitality industry is strong and job growth is projected to increase by 20.5 percent over the next decade.” said Lynn Minges, president & CEO of the N.C. Restaurant & Lodging Association. “Supporting students who aspire to careers in the industry is vital to our continued success. This generous grant from our Darden Restaurant partners will allow us to help ensure that this industry has the workforce it needs to continue to grow.”
“We’re proud to be able to support the N.C. Hospitality Education Foundation through our Restaurant Community Grants program,” said Stephanie Ghertner, Director of the Darden Foundation. “Our team members are incredibly passionate about getting involved in their local communities, and this program enables them to do just that.”
About N.C. Hospitality Education Foundation
The N.C. Hospitality Education Foundation (NC HEF) is the philanthropic foundation of the N.C. Restaurant & Lodging Association, helping to enhance the hospitality industry’s service to the public through education, community engagement and promotion of career opportunities. NC HEF works to attract, develop and retain a career-oriented professional workforce for the hospitality industry. For more information, please visit www.ncrla.org/nchef.
The Darden Foundation
The Darden Restaurants, Inc. Foundation is the charitable arm of Darden Restaurants, Inc. The Darden Foundation’s mission is to maintain a spirit of service and community engagement as defining characteristics of Darden’s family of restaurants – Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Bahama Breeze, Seasons 52, The Capital Grille, Eddie V’s and Yard House. Since 1995, the Darden Foundation has awarded more than $71 million in grants to leading nonprofit organizations that align with its mission and community priorities: Recipe for Success®, Preservation of Natural Resources and Good Neighbor grants. Through the Darden Harvest program, Darden Restaurants has also donated more than 77 million pounds of food to hunger relief agencies across the U.S. and Canada. In 2011, the Darden Foundation introduced the Restaurant Community Grants program that is dedicated to supporting local nonprofit organizations in the hundreds of communities where we live and serve. For more information, please visit www.dardenfoundation.com.