The mission of Operation Food Search is to heal hunger with innovative and collaborative solutions that provide food today. . . and help create a hunger-free tomorrow.

About Us

Founded in 1981, Operation Food Search (OFS) is a hunger relief organization that provides free food, nutrition education and innovative programs proven to reduce food insecurity. With a strategic focus aimed at ending childhood hunger, OFS empowers families and increases access to healthy and affordable food. The agency provides food and services to 200,000 individuals on a monthly basis – one-third of whom are children – through a network of 330 community partners in 25 Missouri and Illinois counties.

Our Reach


More than 40 years ago, dedicated members of a coalition of Catholic, Protestant and Jewish faiths went in search of food for the hungry. What started as the St. Louis United Hunger Effort became Operation Food Search in 1981. Since then, OFS has worked tirelessly to fill a vital need in the community. Now we are going beyond searching for food—we are searching for solutions.


At OFS, we work beyond immediate food assistance to address the underlying causes of hunger. We empower families with skills and tools to help them prepare healthy food on a budget. We educate others about food insecurity and advocate for policy changes on the state and federal levels. We provide innovative programs designed to improve the overall health of individuals and communities and create lasting change.

Read more about our strategy ›

Our vision is a region where everyone has equitable
access to the food they need to lead healthy lives.

Our Values

We strive to address disparities to ensure that everyone has equitable access to sufficient, nutritious food.

We are committed to enacting bold solutions through courageous leadership and continuous organizational improvement.

We recognize the inherent worth of every person and treat all with compassion.

We empower each other by working in partnership with individuals and organizations in our community.

We deliver on our commitments and hold ourselves accountable for our words, decisions and actions.

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