(608) 442-8815



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

“For me, food security is the foundation for everything.  If you have that - by using the pantry if needed - you can think about getting a better job, helping your kids with homework, working on your relationships, etc.  Without food security, everything is a much bigger struggle.”


Donor & Volunteer

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

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Stuff The Squad

On Saturday June 10th, Roundy’s/Pick 'n Save and the Madison Police Department teamed up to collect needed food items for local food pantries! This year, Second Harvest partnered Pick 'n Save, 2502 Shopko Drive, with The River Food Pantry for this campaign.

“Too many of our neighbors, especially on the Northside are not able to afford the food they need to feed their family,” The River’s Executive Director Charles McLimans said. “It’s our mission at The River to make sure that no one in our community goes hungry. So we were thrilled to partner with the Madison Police, our friends at Pick 'n Save, and everyone who participated to serve and nourish our community.”

Officer David Dexheimer, North District Neighborhood Resource Officer, parked his vehicle in front of the Pick 'n Save store to collect $5 and $10 pre-made bag of groceries. “It truly was a pleasure to help out with the Roundy’s/Pick ‘n Save food drive,” Officer Dexheimer said. “I was struck with the outpouring of goodwill and generous donations from our community. We really did ‘Stuff the Squad!’”

Children loved stopping by to say hi to Officer Dexheimer and sit in his vehicle. It just so happened, Leah, a face painter, was also outside the store that day to give free face paintings to shoppers.

Thanks to the generous shoppers at Pick 'n Save, Officer Dexheimer filled his vehicle with over 350 pounds of food and delivered it to the pantry. “The Madison Police Department is very happy to support the great work of The River Food Pantry,” Officer Dexheimer shared. “Partnerships like these are vitally important to keeping Madison a safe and healthy community.”


A Family's Food Drive For The River

Stefanie and her three children ages 7, 4, and 1 and a half recently went door to door in their neighborhood handing out flyers about The River Food Pantry and a list of needed items at the pantry. Days later, they picked up bags of donated items from their neighbors' doorsteps. The family brought in over 160 pounds of food and personal items to the pantry! "My kids had been telling everyone about going to The River," Stefanie said. "And our family was very much looking forward to the weekend food drive!"


Following the neighborhood food drive, Stefanie and her family hosted a food drive outside of the Sun Prairie Pick ‘N Save for the weekend. The River provided her with posters, a donation jar, crates to hold the food and helped promote the food drive. In just two days, the family collected over 650 pounds of food and $350 for The River! Stefanie couldn’t believe the response they got from shoppers. “The whole experience was very touching for me and my family,” Stefanie said. “I can promise this food drive won’t be our last, I believe it is just the beginning!"


Over 650 Dane County families shop at The River Food Pantry every week for nutritional groceries, clothing and to enjoy a community meal. The River also provides packed lunches to chidlren and teenagers living in low-income neighborhoods on weekends and non-school days with the mobile lunch program, MUNCH. Support like food drives from the community help ensure our shelves will stay stocked with food and our lights will stay on.

Hosting a donation drive with friends, family, coworkers and neighbors is a great way to help families who are struggling to put food on the table. Learn more about food drives and how we can help by clicking here.

Rock The River

On Thursday, April 27, The River Food Pantry was honored to host Rock The River, presented by Madison MagnetMadison Rotary After Hours for YPWeek Madison. The event was a huge success, bringing in roughly 100 people to the pantry! The River was truly rocking once VO5 began performing. Attendees danced, enjoyed food and beverages, and networked with fellow Dane County professionals who are interested in making a difference in the community. The event also highlighted hunger and homelessness in Madison. Prior to the event, 13 young professionals volunteered at the pantry session prior to the event.

Andy Czerkas of The River Food Pantry, Karla Thennes from Porchlight, and Jackson Fonder from Catholic Charities of Madison all spoke about how their non-profits provide services to help individuals and families in Dane County. They also mentioned volunteer opportunities and other ways people can support. Neighbors helping neighbors in need.

The event raised $2,000 and 175 pounds of non-perishable food items! Thanks to the organizations who put this wonderful event together, to Great Dane for providing beverages, and to VO5 who indeed Rocked at The River. Also, a special thanks to all the attendees who spent their night dancing and discussing ways they can help Dane County neighbors. We hope to see you back at The River soon!


A special shoutout to Colleen and her friends and family who held a surprise birthday party for her at the event. They spent the night dancing, donating for the cause and let us serve the leftover birthday cake at that Friday's pantry session! It's great to see the community coming together, having fun, and helping others.



Get Your Tickets!

Join us on Wednesday, June 28th to cheer on the Mallards at the Duck Pond!

Join us for Rotary International Night at the Duck Pond!  Tickets are $15 and include your reserved stadium seat and an official Mallards hat and $5 of every ticket sold will to back to Rotary International!  - See more at:
Join us for Rotary International Night at the Duck Pond!  Tickets are $15 and include your reserved stadium seat and an official Mallards hat and $5 of every ticket sold will to back to Rotary International!  - See more at:

Tickets are $15 and include your reserved stadium seat and an official Mallards hat! $5 of every ticket sold will go back to The River food Pantry! 

Purchase your tickets and share with friends & family!

River Food Panty Info Flyer

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You Vote, Charities Win

Thank You For Your Votes!



For the past couple months, we have been asking our supporters to participate in The PGA Tour Volunteer Challenge which raises funds for charity. Thanks to all our supporters, Rick Webster, Mark Boettner, and Mick Pecoraro's team for A River Food Pantry placed second with 1,157 votes. We are so grateful for our supporters and proud to have taken second place.

Congratulations First Tee of South Central Wisconsin! 



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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.