September marks Hunger Action Month, but LongHorn Steakhouse has been continuously working to help fight hunger in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area through their Harvest food donation program, which has been in place at their parent company of Darden Restaurants for the past 20 years. Since the program’s inception, more than 1.2 million pounds of food have been donated to local nonprofits near LongHorn’s restaurants, amounting to over 1 million meals.
LongHorn locations nationwide participate in the Harvest program. Each day, restaurant team members gather unused, surplus food like pasta, steak, soup, chicken and vegetables to prepare for donation. Nonprofit organizations pick up these donations each week to provide to those in their community.
“Hunger continues to be a significant issue in Tampa and St. Petersburg, and at LongHorn, we’re in a position to help” said Richard Hayden, Managing Partner of LongHorn Steakhouse in Tampa. “The Harvest program has allowed us to give back to the community we serve for years, and our team takes immense pride in knowing that we’re making a difference.”
According to Feeding America, 34 million people in the United States face hunger, and food banks have experienced greater demand due to high grocery prices and the end of pandemic-era benefits like Supplemental Nutrition Assistant Program (SNAP) emergency allotments.
LongHorn restaurants nationwide participate in Harvest, and over time, their collective food donations have totaled nearly 28 million pounds of food — or 23.3 million meals. Locally, LongHorn donates to Good Neighbors, Suncoast Haven of Rest, Meals on Wheels, Hunger Free Mission for Christ, JFCS of the Suncoast, Village Presbyterian Church, Remnant Café, Hunger Free Mission for Christ, Catholic Charities, The Apostolic Church of NA, Most Holy Redeemer, Dawn Center Administrative OFC, Resurrection Catholic Church and Faith International Baptist Church.
In addition, LongHorn has worked with Feeding America for more than 13 years, and since 2017, the Darden Foundation, the charitable arm of LongHorn’s parent company, has donated $16.3 million to support Feeding America member food banks across all 50 states.
As part of these ongoing efforts to fight hunger, LongHorn has helped to enhance mobile food pantry programs for Feeding America’s food banks in communities where food insecurity rates are disproportionately high. Since January 2021, 35 Feeding America food banks across 18 states have received a 26-foot refrigerated box truck to help address transportation needs and give access to nutritious food for those who need it most. In 2021, Feeding Tampa Bay was a recipient of one of these trucks.