Posted on 18 September 2009 by

Throwing Tomatoes for Charity

tomato-fightBy Vanessa Richins

I’ve sometimes cringed a little when I hear about the big tomato fight events, like La Tomatina in Buñol, Spain.

I know it’s tradition and people enjoy it thoroughly, but I also think about how many people those tomatoes could feed.

I was at least a bit happier when I learned about a recent such event in Reno, Nevada.

They wanted to recreate the famous Spanish tomato fight in their own city, with a twist.

Participants paid $10 on August 29th, 2009 to join in the tomato chucking fun. If they wanted to aim their weapons at the mayors of Reno or Sparks, they paid $50. All money went to the American Cancer Society.

Forty thousand pounds of tomatoes were donated by Delmar from Westley, California after they had found out that the battle would benefit a charity. An article on Fox Charlotte explained that these tomatoes had been secondhand discards that could not be used as food, so I also find that mnore comforting.

It sounds like it was a blast. One participant wrote : “As the last of the congregation dispersed, overzealous staff exclaimed through megaphones that there would be twice as many tomatoes next year. If this, in fact, is true, then you can expect to see me there, half-naked and covered in Ragu like the rest of what I can only classify as the La Tomatina cult. See you there, Reno.”

I haven’t seen a final count yet, but I know that thousands of dollars were raised for the American Cancer Society through this event.

Have you ever participated in one of the tomato fights?

One Response to “Throwing Tomatoes for Charity”

  1. our friend Ben Says:

    I agree with you, Vanessa. With so much of the world suffering from hunger, surely donating those tomatoes to a food bank or soup kitchen would have been the greater kindness. It seems obscene to me to waste food when people are going to bed hungry. I applaud the idea of a cancer fundraiser, but surely there must be something else that would be fun without being wasteful! Sigh.

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