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BBBS receives grant from restaurant chain

Published: Thursday, April 3, 2014 11:09 a.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, April 3, 2014 11:12 a.m. CDT

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Iowa announced Wednesday it had received a $3,000 grant from the company that owned Red Lobster, Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse restaurants, among others, across the U.S.

Darden Restaurants Foundation, the charitable arm of Darden Restaurants, is providing the funding through its three-year-old Restaurant Community Grants program. The donation will provide additional funding for BBBSCI’s Community-Based mentoring program.

“We strive to make a positive impact in all the communities our restaurants serve,” Darden President and COO Gene Lee said. “Our employees are incredibly passionate about getting directly involved in their local communities, and our Restaurant Community Grants program enables each of our restaurant teams to make a difference right in their own backyard.”

The grant will provide funding for BBBSCI’s efforts to recruit more mentors in the Community-Based program. Matches in this program spend a minimum of four hours a month together, where they attend outings that expose children to new cultural and educational experiences.

The funding from the Darden Foundation will also be used to sponsor some of those activities, helping to offset the cost for the volunteer mentors.

“With this grant, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Iowa will be able to provide more mentors to children in need of a positive role model, instilling a greater vision of the future to those who need it most,” says BBBSCI CEO Kit Curran.

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