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Operation Food Search's Tomato Explosion

Agency teams up with more than 60 local restaurants to stop summer childhood hunger

Operation Food Search (OFS) will partner with Sauce magazine, Tony’s Family Farms plus more than 60 local restaurants for its ninth annual Tomato Explosion.  Throughout the month of July, participating restaurants will donate a portion of their sales from a special tomato-inspired dish so OFS can connect kids to nutritious meals during the summer. 


New this year is a partnership with GiftAMeal, a mobile app that helps provide a meal to someone in need each time a user takes a photo at a participating restaurant.  All Tomato Explosion restaurants will be included on the meal app in July, and patrons are encouraged to take a photo of their tomato dishes on their free app.  Each photo will be automatically entered into a contest for the best Tomato Explosion photo. Three winners will receive $100 gift cards to the restaurant where they took their photo.


Tomato Explosion was created in 2011 as a tomato-centric partnership by Operation Food Search and the St. Louis restaurant community.  It began with 13 participating restaurants and has continued to grow throughout the years.  To date the event has raised nearly $200,000 with proceeds benefitting OFS’s hunger relief efforts.


Leadership partners include Crushed Red, Dewey’s Pizza, Herbie’s, Kingside Diner, Mai Lee, Milque Toast Bar, and Mission Taco.  Participating restaurants are located in Benton Park, Central West End, Chesterfield, Clayton, Columbia, Creve Coeur, Downtown, Frontenac, The Hill, Kirkwood, Lafayette Square, Maplewood, Midtown, Richmond Heights, Rock Hill, Soulard, South City, South Hampton, St. Charles/O’Fallon, University City/Delmar Loop, Webster Groves, West County, and Edwardsville, Ill.  For a complete list of restaurants and their Tomato Explosion dishes, visit

Founded in 1981, Operation Food Search (OFS) is a hunger relief organization located at 1644 Lotsie Blvd. that provides food and nutrition education.  With a strategic focus aimed at ending childhood hunger, OFS empowers families with a range of programs and services proven to reduce food insecurity and increase access to healthy and affordable food.  The agency helps feed more than 200,000 individuals on a monthly basis – one-third of which are children through a network of 330 community partners in 31 Missouri and Illinois counties.  For details, call (314) 726-5355 or visit

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