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Darden Restaurants, INC. Makes $500,000 Gift-In-Kind Donation to Habitat For Humanity Restore Resale Outlets

Contribution Continues Darden’s Ongoing Commitment to Giving Back to Local Communities

Orlando, Fla. (Feb. 2, 2011) – Darden Restaurants, Inc. (DRI) today announced the company has made a $500,000 gift-in-kind donation to Habitat for Humanity International by contributing furnishings from 85 of the company’s recently remodeled restaurant locations across the country. These furnishings will be sold at local Habitat for Humanity ReStore resale outlets.

More than 300 of the company’s Red Lobster, Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse restaurants are slated to be remodeled over the next three years, and Darden plans to continue donations during this time, providing Habitat ReStore resale outlets across the country with furnishings for resale. Habitat ReStore resale outlets sell donated goods to the general public to help local Habitat affiliates fund the construction of homes within their communities. Darden’s contribution is part of the company’s ongoing commitment to giving back to local communities where its restaurants operate.

“Darden strives to have an enduring and positive influence on the communities we serve,” said Drew Madsen, president and chief operating officer for Darden. “In keeping with that focus, as well as our commitment to sustainability, we’re pleased to partner with Habitat for Humanity to repurpose these furnishings in a way that will benefit others.”

“In addition to helping fund affordable housing, Habitat Restore resale outlets provide communities a cost-efficient opportunity to recycle useful construction materials and household items,” said Larry Gluth, senior vice president of U.S. and Canada for Habitat for Humanity International. “We are grateful to Darden Restaurants for supporting the work of local Habitat affiliates by donating furnishings.”

Donated items from Red Lobster, Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse restaurants have included art work and other décor, dining tables and chairs, booth seating, host/hostess stands and more.

About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian ministry that welcomes to its work all people dedicated to the cause of eliminating poverty housing. Since its founding in 1976, Habitat has built, rehabilitated, repaired or improved more than 400,000 houses worldwide, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than 2 million people. For more information, or to donate or volunteer, visit www.habitat.org.

About Darden
Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE: DRI), the world’s largest full-service restaurant company, owns and operates 1,800 restaurants that generate more than $7 billion in annual sales. Headquartered in Orlando, and employing approximately 180,000 people, Darden is recognized for a culture that rewards caring for and responding to people. Our restaurant brands – Red Lobster, Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, The Capital Grille, Bahama Breeze and Seasons 52 – reflect the rich diversity of those who dine with us. Our brands are built on deep insights into what our guests want. For more information, please visit www.darden.com.