Carino's Italian Donates a Dollar for Every Kid's Meal Sold in April to Autism Speaks and the Autism Society, Sets Fundraising Goal at $50,000

Restaurant Chain Also Recognizing Local Champions of Autism Within Its Participating Markets at Carinos.com/cares

Marketwired

AUSTIN, TX--(Marketwire -03/29/12)- For the third consecutive year, Carino's Italian is raising funds in April, National Autism Awareness Month, for autism research and for families affected by autism. Carino's Italian's fundraising goal is to raise $50,000 by selling 50,000 kid's meals, where a dollar for every kid's meal sold in April at participating locations will be donated to Autism Speaks and the Autism Society. Both organizations will split the charitable contribution 50-50, which will be made through the Carino's Foundation, the restaurant's charitable giving arm.

During National Autism Awareness Month, Carino's will also turn its website blue as part of Autism Speaks "Light It Up Blue" campaign. In addition, it is partnering with the Autism Society to highlight "Carino's Autism Champions." Throughout April, Carino's Autism Champions will be profiled on the Carino's Foundation website at http://www.carinos.com/cares. These champions are the everyday people that volunteer throughout the year within a local community that Carino's serves to promote autism awareness, acceptance, education, resources and research.

"Many of our guests, employees and staff members have been touched by autism in some form. It is a growing epidemic in our country," said Creed Ford III, CEO of Carino's Italian. "We are proud to support Autism Speaks and the Autism Society in their efforts to learn more about this disorder that affects as many as 1 in 110 children nationwide as well as help families in financial need of services."

Carino's Italian's kid's meals are all less than 500 calories. The restaurant chain also offers a gluten-free menu available for all guests. Parents with autistic children that follow a strict gluten-free diet can request this option.

"Carino's Italian's continued support for autism awareness has been instrumental in our fight against autism," said Pat Robbins, Executive Director of Autism Speaks Texas.

"The generosity of Carino's Italian will allow the Autism Society to strengthen its support system for families nationwide," said Scott Badesch, Autism Society President and Chief Operating Officer. "The Autism Society chapter network is extremely proud to partner with Carino's Italian to spread autism understanding and acceptance through the Autism Champions program this April."

For information regarding participating Carino's Italian locations, please visit www.carinos.com.

About Carino's Italian

Headquartered in Austin, Texas, Carino's Italian owns and operates 68 restaurants nationwide in conjunction with over 70 franchise partner locations. Carino's Italian offers a wide selection of original, fresh, delectable dishes at superior value that every family can afford to enjoy. For more information about Carino's Italian, please visit http://carinos.com. To receive the latest updates, please "Like" Carino's Italian on Facebook at http://facebook.com/carinositalian and follow Carino's Italian on Twitter at http://twitter.com/carinositalian.

About Carino's Foundation

Carino's Foundation is giving arm of Carino's Italian. Through the years, Carino's Foundation has supported many charitable organizations that focus on the needs of children from hunger relief to medical care to research. It has raised more than $2 million for various nonprofits since 1997. For more information about Carino's Foundation, please visit: http://carinos.com/cares.

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