October 04, 2011 // Franchising.com // Tampa, Florida – Volunteers of Operation Feeding Freedom IX, sponsored by OSI Restaurant Partners, LLC (OSI), have returned from their trip to Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan. This year, 31 volunteers carried out OSI's annual mission to bring a taste of home from its restaurants in America to U.S. and Coalition Forces. This year's trip represented the largest feeding of troops to date by OSI and involved volunteers from all five of the Company's brands: Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba's Italian Grill, Bonefish Grill, Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, and Roy's Hawaiian Fusion Cuisine.
″OSI has a long history of providing support to our Armed Forces both at home and abroad,″ said Liz Smith, Chief Executive Officer of OSI Restaurant Partners. ″This annual mission has proven to be a valuable experience for our volunteers and a morale boost to the troops. Good food is an everyday comfort at home and it is an honor for all of us at OSI to serve the brave men and women who are defending our freedom every day.″
The first launch of Operation Feeding Freedom began with a team of Outbackers who traveled to Afghanistan in 2002 to feed the troops stationed there. Since that trip, nearly 200 members of the OSI team have made another eight trips serving Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Djibouti, Kuwait, Bahrain, Turkey, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, and aboard the USS Nimitz in the Persian Gulf. Overall, 207,000 troops have been served at numerous bases, forward operating bases and command and control locations.
″This operation was made possible through the support of United States Central Command and the Services. They have worked hand in hand with us over the past nine years in providing logistical support and military escorts during the trip to ensure our team's safety,″ says Dave Alvarado, OSI Team Leader for Operation Feeding Freedom. ″Additionally, OSI is appreciative of the significant contributions made by our purveyors and vendors. Through their generosity, the menu featured Bloomin' Onions, Spinach Fonduta, Boule Bread with Herbs and Olive Oil, Cavatappi Amatriciana, Chargrilled Steaks, Ravioli and Cheesecake for dessert.″
Operation Feeding Freedom is part of OSI's ongoing commitment to support the troops. For the past two years with the help of its customers, Outback Steakhouse has donated $1 Million to Operation Homefront, a non-profit organization providing everyday and emergency support for active troops, veterans, and their families.
OSI Restaurant Partners, LLC, headquartered in Tampa, Florida, was founded in 1988 by a group of people who believe in hospitality, sharing, quality, being courageous and having fun! The portfolio of brands includes Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba's Italian Grill, Bonefish Grill, Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar and Roy's Hawaiian Fusion Cuisine. OSI is one of the largest casual dining restaurant companies in the world. The company operates in 49 states and its Outback Steakhouse brand has restaurants in 24 countries.