Olive Garden Asks Student Writers to Take a Bite Out of Hunger for the 17th-Annual Pasta Tales Essay Writing Contest

    Olive Garden Asks Student Writers to Take a Bite Out of Hunger for the
                17th-Annual Pasta Tales Essay Writing Contest

Grand-Prize Winner to Receive $2,500 Savings Bond & Trip to New York City

PR Newswire

ORLANDO, Fla., Jan. 22, 2013

ORLANDO, Fla., Jan. 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --According to Feeding America, the
nation's leading domestic hunger-relief charity, hunger is a reality for one
in six people in the United States. To bring awareness to the issue and help
find solutions, Olive Garden is asking students "How would you help end hunger
in your community?" as part of the 17th-Annual Pasta Tales national essay
writing contest.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130122/FL45686LOGO )

Now through Friday, March 22, students in first through 12th-grade in the
United States and Canada (excluding Quebec) are invited to submit an essay of
50 to 250 words with their ideas for ending hunger in their local communities.

The grand-prize winner of the contest will receive a three-day family trip to
New York City that includes dinner at the Olive Garden in Times Square and a
$2,500 savings bond. In addition, Olive Garden will provide a $5,000 grant to
bring the winner's essay to life by supporting hunger initiatives in his or
her local community. The winners in each of the 12 grade categories will be
awarded a $500 savings bond and a family dinner at their local Olive Garden

This year's Pasta Tales question reflects a long-term commitment to helping
fight the battle against hunger in North America by Olive Garden and its
parent company, Darden Restaurants. Olive Garden restaurants participate in
the Darden Harvest program, which over the last nine years has donated more
than 60 million pounds of food to local community food banks across the
country, more than 25 million pounds of it from Olive Garden alone. At the
end of each day, every Darden restaurant freezes and safely stores surplus
food items like fresh fish and other meats that can be used in soups, stews or
on a plate with other donated items, for local food banks to pick up and
deliver to those in need. 

Pasta Tales entry forms and complete rules are available on Olive Garden's
website at http://www.olivegarden.com/About-Us/News-and-Media/Pasta-Tales/.
All entries must include the writer's first and last name, complete address,
phone number with area code, grade, date of birth including year and a
statement that the work is his or her own. Entries must be postmarked by
March 22, 2013 and sent to Pasta Tales, PMB 2000, 6278 N. Federal Highway,
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308-1916.

Submissions will be judged based on creativity, adherence to theme,
organization, grammar, punctuation and spelling by the Quill and Scroll
Society of the College of Journalism and Communications at the University of
Iowa, with winners selected by Olive Garden.

Olive Garden's Pasta Tales essay contest provides students in local
communities an outlet to creatively express the influences, experiences and
stories that have shaped their lives. For more information about Olive
Garden's Pasta Tales, contact Lauren Simo or Catie Jackson at (954) 776-1999
between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. EST.

Olive Garden is the leading restaurant in the Italian dining segment with more
than 800 restaurants, more than 90,000 employees and more than $3.5 billion in
annual sales.Olive Garden is a member of the Darden family of restaurants
(NYSE:DRI), the world's largest full-service restaurant operating company. For
more information, visit Olive Garden's website at OliveGarden.com.

SOURCE Olive Garden

Website: http://www.OliveGarden.com
Contact: Lauren Simo or Catie Jackson, Pierson Grant, +1-954-776-1999; or Tara
Gray, Olive Garden, +1-407-245-5642
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