Bright and early every Friday morning, Rev. Sterling White arrives with an empty truck bed at the door of the LongHorn Steakhouse in Charlotte.
Once he leaves, it’s filled with bins of fresh, unused food straight from the restaurant’s kitchen.
The Charlotte restaurant, located at 8115 Old Mallard Creek Road, partners with White’s organization, Urban Street Outreach Ministry, as part of the LongHorn Steakhouse Harvest program. Each week, the restaurant “harvests” surplus food and donates it to the ministry. Items like fresh meat, vegetables, soups and sauces are donated. To date, the restaurant has donated more than 41,800 pounds to local nonprofits, like Urban Street Outreach Ministry.
“At LongHorn, giving back is an important part of what we do,” Chris Hefner, the restaurant’s managing partner, said. “It’s so gratifying to know that we can help make a positive impact for our fellow residents who are hungry and in need.”
White then takes the food and distributes it the area’s homeless population. His nonprofit organization has been around for 20 years. Rain, shine or snow, it’s his mission to make sure that they are fed.
“I’m truly grateful for what LongHorn Steakhouse does,” White said. “In turn, I can go and help those in need.”
LongHorn Steakhouse restaurants nationwide have donated more than 17 million pounds of food since 2003 to local community food banks through the LongHorn Steakhouse Harvest program. In that time, the 10 locations in the Charlotte area have donated a combined 332,000 pounds of food to local nonprofits, like White’s.
In addition to the Harvest program, the company’s charitable arm, the Darden Foundation, recently donated $1.7 million to Feeding America. Of that amount, $491,000 was donated on behalf of all LongHorn Steakhouse locations.
Urban Street Outreach Ministry is a nonprofit organization that goes out into the Charlotte community to feed the homeless. It forges partnerships in the area to work toward the common goal of solving the hunger problem.