(608) 442-8815



Would you like to help out? Check out how easy it is to serve at The River. Find out more.

"As a business leader on Madison's north side, I believe it is critical for us to partner with organizations like The River Food Pantry. They bring a valuable service to the community and support families that need emergency assistance."

Bill Haight
President, Magna Publications

The River is Dane County's busiest food pantry and in 2015 welcomed 30,605 family visits.

See the Pantry Publications.Arrow

American Family Insurance Interns Select The River For Share Tank

Three summer interns at American Family Insurance selected The River Food Pantry as their non-profit for the second annual American Family Insurance Share Tank Intern Challenge. American Family Insurance’s “Share Tank” project required ten teams of interns to select a local non-profit organization, interview its managers, volunteer, identify a need for the business and then develop a solution to the need.

 Like the television program, "Shark Tank", the teams then created a proposal and pitched it to a panel of judges at the American Family Insurance headquarters on Thursday, July 27.


During their presentation, interns Jack Bergan, Michael Migliore, and Sam Jones expressed The River's need for a data software that helps people sign up to volunteer. They did a great presentation explaining The River's mission, the impact The River has on the community and how vital volunteers are.

In the end, judges selected the interns who presented on behalf of Wild Warner Park who received $10,000 to help put much needed signs up in the park. Jim Carrier is a founder of the non profit as well as a former board member of The River food Pantry!

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The River Food Pantry as well as the other non profits who did not win, received $1,000 from American Family Insurance Dreams Foundation. The River is honored to have participated again this year and proud of the interns who worked hard on this project.

Tasty Summer Events

We have some tasty events for you to attend this summer where you'll support local businesses and The River Food Pantry!

Mark your calendar for these upcoming events!


Madison Burger Week

Isthmus is hosting its first ever Madison Burger Week from July 28th to August 4th! Madison Burger Week is a week-long, citywide celebration showcasing the best burgers of Madison. Join the search to crown Madison's favorite burger. Some restaurants will showcase a burger from their menu and others will concoct something new for you to try. Participating restaurants will give $1 to The River Food Pantry for every burger sold throught the week. Budweiser is also going to donate $1 for every Bud sold at participating restaurants to The River. Thank you Wisconsin Beef Council for sponsoring this fun event!

Learn more at



Yum Yum Fest

Don't miss this year's Yum Yum Fest on Sunday, August 6th at the Breese Stevens Field! Yum Yum Fest is a celebration of artistry in food held in Madison by the Madison Area Chef's Network. The organizers have committed to a minimum donation of $5,000 to both the Community Action Coalition Double Dollars Program and The River Food Pantry! Be sure to purchase your tickets before they sell out! 

Learn more at



Yola's Waffle Creation

Each month Yola's Cafe creates a special donation waffle creation and donates $1 of each of those waffles sold to a local non-profit. Support The River Food Pantry by visiting Yola's in the month of August to enjoy their Smore's Waffle! Sounds tasty, doesn't it?!

Learn more at

YolasCafe August2017

The River Food Pantry Accepts 2017 Monsanto Fund Grant

July 11, 2017 – Madison, WI. The River Food Pantry is a 2017 recipient of a grant awarded by Monsanto.  The award of $12,500 will be used toward keeping the pantry shelves stocked with healthy food options for individuals and families struggling to make ends meet. The River Food Pantry distributes 40,000 pounds of food each week, and serves three community meals each week. Through The River’s partnerships with local food banks and wholesalers, $12,500 will purchase $125,000 worth of food (at retail prices).  The grant helps ensure that the pantry is stocked with canned protein, canned vegetables, cooking oil, flour, rice, meat, dairy and fresh produce.

“We’re very grateful for the generous support of strong community partners like Monsanto," The River Food Pantry Executive Director Charles McLimans said. "They understand the importance of feeding people, from helping farmers to grow stronger crops, to helping The River Food Pantry nourish over 700 families each week. This grant will go a long way toward helping us to end hunger in our community.”



Bill Boor with Monsanto Fund presents a $12,500 check to Charles McLimans and Andy Czerkas from The River Food Pantry.

June 2017 Impact Award Winner

Behind every plate and every product, there’s a person and a neighbor in need. We believe that in times of hardship, it shouldn’t be hard to ask for help.

On Monday June 12, The River’s Development Director Amy Lord shared The River Food Pantry’s mission, which is one of mercy and hope, to the 100+ Women Who Care group. 100+ Women Who Care brings women together to make a large impact on their community. They meet four times a year where they raise at least $10,000 for a local charity.

Three local 501©(3) charities are selected to present at each meeting. At the end of the night, a vote is held and a nonprofit is awarded. At this meeting, The River Food Pantry was presented the June 2017 Impact Award.

Being a completely community-funded organization means we rely on donations to help keep our shelves stocked and the lights stay on. Prior to the meeting, The River was completely out of peanut butter which is critical for the pantry. After receiving the award, Rhonda went out and purchased peanut butter like she promised she would.

peanut butter

Receiving this award is a huge honor for The River and we are thankful for being selected. With The Power of Ten, 100+ Women Who Care's donation will provide food for many Dane County families struggling to put food on the table. Click here to learn more about 100+ Women Who Care.



Ways To Get Involved

Want to get involved but not quite sure what you want to do? We have plenty of volunteer opportunities at The River, we're sure to find the perfect fit for you!

Join us for a pantry session! Help in the kitchen, clothing area or in the pantry area to help people in the community go home with a cart full of groceries, clothing and full stomachs. We have five opportunities each week. Families are welcome! Learn more here.


Want to help but week days just won't work for you? Our mobile lunch program, Madison Unites to Nourish Children at Home (MUNCH), visits neighborhoods to distribute lunches to children and teens every weekend and non-school day. And now that school is out for the summer, MUNCH is distributing lunches every day of the week! Sign up here.


Do you have a few hours to spare Sunday mornings or Monday and Thursday mornings? We have some wonderful donors that need us to pick up product at their store such as produce, milk, meat and miscellaneous food products. No cdl is required to drive our 20 foot box truck, just a good driving record and a desire to help out. We'll provide the training and show you the ropes. If you're interested, please call Rhonda at 661-1224 or send her an This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Maybe driving a big truck isn't your big thing but you're into flowers. Well, we have something for you! On Friday mornings we pick up an assortment of flowers that need to be made into bouquets for our clients to take home after enjoying a meal with us that evening.  2-3 hours is all it takes along. A love for flowers and being creative is great!


Okay, okay, driving truck and creating bouquets are not your thing, they're not for everyone, about stocking shelves? Our generous donors give us money for various things including buying food for our clients to take home once a week. We need help to keep the shelves stocked. Mondays and Wednesdays we're flexible on times. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays 1-4.


Current Needs

"For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me."
- Matthew 25:35-36

The River Food Pantry
2201 Darwin Rd. | Madison, WI 53704
Phone: (608) 442-8815

In accordance with Federal Law and U.S. Department of Agriculture Policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Ave, SW , Washington D.C. 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 or (202) 720-6382 (TTY). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

In addition the State of Wisconsin prohibits discrimination in the delivery of services on all the above bases, as well as sexual orientation and religion. 

The River Food Pantry complies with all Federal, State and local laws regarding nondiscrimination and is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons.