The mission of Operation Food Search is to nourish and educate our neighbors in need to heal the hurt of hunger.

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 27 Missouri and Illinois counties and the city of St. Louis.

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 root causes of hunger. We empower families with skills and tools to promote self-sufficiency. We educate others about food insecurity and advocate for policy changes on the state and federal level. 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 that all children and families have the nutrition, food and skills they need to live a healthy life.

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