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PRESS ROOM: Denny’s Invests $3.3 Million in Holistic Approach to Feeding People: Body, Mind and Soul with Launch of Nationwide Community Alliance



SPARTANBURG, S.C., June 2024 Denny’s (NASDAQ: DENN), America’s diner, announced today that it is elevating its decades-long commitment to communities nationwide by forming an alliance with 14 influential civic and educational organizations. The alliance is central to the brand’s Community initiative.

Denny’s groundwork for the Community initiative began over three decades ago when the company partnered with the NAACP, HACR, and 24 diverse civil rights organizations and nonprofit groups to drive positive change in the communities it serves. These efforts include over $2 billion in investments in diverse-owned businesses and donations exceeding $2.5 million in scholarships. Denny’s unwavering commitment to nurturing its workforce and addressing societal concerns takes a monumental leap forward with the launch of Community.

To amplify its dedication to feeding people: body, mind, and soul, Denny’s launched Community, a collaborative initiative dedicated to social change and forging strong alliances with trailblazing advocates, globally recognized civil rights leaders, and influential community and civic organizations representing historically marginalized communities. Denny’s will center its efforts around five key pillars: human and civil rights, business diversity, education, community involvement, and the cultivation of an inclusive leadership pipeline, in collaboration with its national and community partners.

The Denny’s Community initiative is a five-year partnership with organizations including: the St. Thomas University Benjamin L. Crump College of Law, Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR), League of Latin American Citizens, NAACP, National Urban League, National Action Network, United States Hispanic Leadership Institute, and more.

Under the Community banner, Denny’s will allocate a total of $3.3 million for a multi-year commitment to its partners and support organizations to deploy local initiatives in cities and towns across the nation. These efforts include serving hot meals to underserved neighborhoods and groups via the Denny’s Mobile Relief Diner (MRD), which operates as a fully functional kitchen on wheels and travels across the nation, enhancing charitable giving programs, natural disasters, and emergency relief efforts.

Another key pillar in the Community initiative is promoting business diversity. Denny’s is partnering with the National Minority Supplier Development Council, US Pan Asian Chamber of Commerce, National LGBT Chamber of Commerce, Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, National Veteran Business Development Council, United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and Disability:IN.


The official launch of Denny’s Community Alliance took place at a press conference at the St. Thomas University Benjamin L. Crump College of Law. Denny’s CEO and President Kelli Valade signed the Community Alliance agreement and presented a $500,000 scholarship gift from Denny’s to the College of Law in support of its commitment to social justice, with further programs and activities unfolding nationwide with the Denny’s Community partner organizations.

Leaders of the coalition who attended the announcement include Benjamin L. Crump, St. Thomas University Benjamin L. Crump College of Law; Derrick Johnson, president of the NAACP; and Sylvia Pérez Cash, executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Hispanic Association of Corporate Responsibility (HACR).

“With the establishment of Denny’s Community initiative, we are continuing our work to connect with our guests and others in our communities,” said Valade. “Our partners are the embodiment of service and how to prioritize equity. We are honored to create this alliance that will impact and address challenges facing our society while breaking barriers to create a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive world for all.”

“We are grateful for corporations like Denny’s that recognize the vital importance of unity,” said Benjamin L. Crump. “We are honored to collaborate with leaders in this new alliance and are grateful to Denny’s for the scholarship support, which will help educate the social justice leaders of tomorrow, keeping the mission of equity and justice alive for decades to come.”

“The NAACP has been proud to partner with Denny’s for the last three decades, working collectively towards a more diverse corporate America,” said Derrick Johnson, President & CEO, NAACP. “The Community initiative is a crucial investment in those who have invested in the growth and success of the Denny’s brand. We are excited to continue this journey together, executing the vision of a more equitable and just society for all.”

“HACR is honored to enter a new phase of our decades-long partnership with Denny’s as part of Denny’s Community Alliance,” said HACR President and CEO, Cid Wilson. “Their multi-year investment is invaluable as we intensify our efforts to advance Hispanic inclusion. We recognize that real change requires sustained effort and are grateful to collaborate with a company, and peer advocacy organizations, that share our long-term commitment and unwavering focus. Our thanks to the leadership at Denny’s, for their steadfast commitment to Hispanic inclusion and overall DEI, including Kelli Valade, Board Chair Brenda Lauderback, board member and former CEO John Miller, and April Kelly-Drummond.”


Denny’s April Kelly-Drummond, vice president and Chief Inclusion and Community Engagement Officer: “Bottom line: we are committed to serving communities everywhere – and all are welcome. We are proud to embark on this ambitious Community journey with our esteemed colleagues and partners to address social injustice in the restaurant industry and beyond, as well as create equitable access and opportunities for all particularly in the areas of education and economic empowerment.”

“For nearly 65 years, St. Thomas University (STU) has educated a diversity of national, local, and international students, helping them become ethical leaders for our global community,” said STU President David A. Armstrong, J.D. “Today, the university recognizes Denny’s efforts to promote human and civil rights, education, and community involvement. We thank Denny’s for their generous contribution to fund scholarships at the Benjamin L. Crump College of Law and its Center for Social Justice, which are training the world’s future servant leaders.”

St. Thomas University Benjamin L. Crump College of Law is one of America’s fastest growing and most diverse law schools, with a 71% enrollment increase since 2018 and over 300 incoming students expected in fall 2024. Black and Hispanic students make up roughly three-quarters of STU’s nearly 6,500 overall enrollment and that of the law school, which recently earned the second-highest bar passage rate in Florida.

For more information on Denny’s Community campaign and DE&I efforts, please visit www.dennys.com.

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