operation food search's annual fundraiser, tomato explosion, takes place at more than 60 restaurants in july. photo by christina branco for unsplash

More than 60 St. Louis restaurants join Operation Food Search’s Tomato Explosion

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Visit one of your favorite restaurants in July as over 60 local eateries participate in Operation Food Search’s nine annual Tomato Explosion fundraiser.

Participating restaurants like Crushed Red, Milque Toast Bar, Mango, Mission Taco Joint, Mai Lee, Kingside Diner, Herbie’s and more will create a dish or feature an existing dish highlighting tomatoes. Each time a featured dish is ordered in July, a portion of proceeds benefit Operation Food Search.

“Tomato Explosion gets the community involved, so not only are they getting a tomato-inspired meal at these restaurants, but the proceeds are going to a good cause for Operation Food Search,” said Rochelle Brandvein, public relations representative for the local nonprofit.

Dishes such as chips and salsa, caprese flatbreads, fire-roasted veggie pizzas, Greek tomato salad and bruschetta, along with more than 60 other options, will be featured during Tomato Explosion.

Local restaurants participate by highlighting and promoting their tomato-inspired dish throughout the month. The eateries also choose the amount donated to Operation Food Search, which will utilize the funds in the Summer Meals Program for children in need of food while out of school for the summer.

“The Summer Meals Program started June 3 and runs through August, and it feeds children 18 and under throughout the summer,” Brandvein said. “When kids are out of school during the summer, they can normally get food from their schools like subsidized breakfast or lunch. In the summer, they don’t have that opportunity, so we help provide through mobile and stationary meals to get them through the summer.”

Darian Stevenson is an editorial intern at Sauce Magazine. 

Sauce Magazine is a sponsor of Tomato Explosion.