Olive Garden giving back to Memphis community

WATCH: Olive Garden giving back to Memphis community

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A national chain restaurant is giving back to the Memphis community, by not wasting food.

Olive Garden donates food twice a week to the Memphis Union Mission.

The statistics are alarming.

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"Wasting food in the country – that we are wasting 150,000 tons of food every single day," said Olive Garden's General Manager Eiland Means.

It's why Olive Garden Restaurants chose to start giving back any extra food instead of letting it go to waste.

"Let's say we're making a chicken gnocchi soup or anything like with the veggies or anything like that.

We actually pack it up and serve it to the unfortunate instead of wasting it and throwing it in the trash," said Means.

Across the nation, Olive Garden – like its restaurant on Poplar Avenue – gives away food twice a week to the Union Mission.

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"What Olive Garden does for us is a huge blessing. More importantly, it's a huge blessing to the people we serve. Our goal is not just to serve, our goal is to serve good meals," said Memphis Union Mission's Steve Carpenter.

The food prepared by Olive Garden helps supplement the food needed to feed more than 325,000 people who use the Union Mission every year.

"We could never do what we do without the generosity and partnership or restaurants like Olive Garden and just all of the other businesses and individuals that support us food donations, financial donations we appreciate what this city does for us," said Carpenter.

"I feel great about it, knowing that we are able to take care of the guest that are coming in the building as well as taking care of the ones that are unfortunate," said Means.

A need to avoid wasting food and helping those who need it most.

Olive Garden has been donating food to the Memphis Union Mission since 2003.

The mission serves up to 2,000 homeless people every day.