(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

3rd Annual Fun On Ice Recap!


We may not have played on the ice, but everyone that attended sure had Fun! The third annual Fun on Ice was filled with games, food, music and laughter. The event, held at The East Side Club, brought in $2,100! That money will help keep our lights on and shelves full with healthy food for families struggling to make ends meet.

Outside we had fun winter games, delicious soups from Good Food, hot coffee from Starbucks on Monona Dr, cookies from Manna Café, and spirits provided by Yahara Bay Distillary. indoors was filled with crafts, games, music thanks to The Fancy Pears and UW Marching Band and great pick-a-prize raffles items from local businesses! Bucky Badger danced around giving high fives and posing for pictures. WISC-TV reporter Adam Schrager took on the event’s emcee role while Krista from 93.1 Jamz stopped by with gifts.

We would like to thank everyone that came to the fun event as well as everyone who took the time to volunteer. The money raised at Fun On Ice will help the 600+ households that visit The River each week.

Thanks again Summit Credit Union & Thysse Printing for sponsoring Fun on Ice and Wisconsin Oral Surgery & Dental Implants for sponsoring Bucky Badger; thanks Good Food, Starbucks, Yahara Bay Distillery for providing food and drinks; and thank you UW Marching Band and The Fancy Pears for being our entertainment!


Make sure to follow us on Facebook! We'll be posting more photos and videos from the event.




Meet Katie

At The River's 2016 Harvest Dinner for Hunger, we met Katie. For many years, Katie and her husband have been struggling to feed their four children but TheRiverHarvestDinner2016 96always seemed to make it work. “We don’t live above our means,” Katie said. “We’re just trying to make a living but times are tough right now.” Katie has been shopping at The River Food Pantry for over a year. “It’s not cheap to feed a family of six,” Katie explained. “Especially in the summer when the kids are home for all three meals.”

Before shopping at The River, Katie’s husband would raise enough money for groceries by scrapping metal on the weekends. Katie recalled visiting grocery stores with a calculator in one hand and a list in the other making sure not to go over their budget. “I used to plan my grocery shopping and visit multiple stores,” Katie recalled. “I knew exactly what store had the best prices for items we needed.”

Unfortunately, last year the price of metal dropped drastically. Katie and her husband could no longer afford food for their four children. “We went from making $100 for groceries to barely $30,” Katie said. “It’s impossible to feed a family of six on that type of budget. We were struggling and needed help.”

Katie said since shopping at The River, the stress of not knowing what to feed her children has gone away. “We’re still struggling but I at least know there will be food on the table for my kids every night,” Katie said. “Without The River, I’m not sure what my children would have to eat. It will get better for our family, but for right now we’re able to keep our head above water with the help from The River.”
Katie said she enjoys shopping at the pantry and bringing her kids for dinner. “The staff have become like an extended family to me,” she said smiling.

For the past ten years, The River Food Pantry has been offering a hand up, not a hand out to people in the community like Katie. “My husband and I are trying to make a living and we thank God there’s a place like this to help us when we need it.”

The River is a completely self-funded organization, meaning we rely on donations to keep our shelves stocked so individuals and families, like Katie, know they have a place for food and comfort. Learn more about The Power of Ten and ways you can support The River here.


2017 Million Pound Challenge: Get Healthy, Help the Hungry

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Join the Million Pound Challenge and raise food for our community members struggling with hunger. Sign up now at and select River Food Pantry and join Team River! 

The River Food Pantry is once again participating in the Million Pound Challenge. To join our team follow these steps:

1. Go to: (you don’t have to be a member to participate)

2. Click the Join a Team button.

3. Select your preference of Exercise or Weight Loss (most people do exercise)

4. Select a Team: The River Food Pantry

5. Fill in your information

6. Select a Benefiting Hunger-Relief Organization: River Food Pantry, The (Madison, Dane County)

7. Click the Register button

You will receive an email with instructions on how to log your exercise hours or weight loss. Exercise hours and weight loss is logged once a week on Friday. 

There’s no cost to participate or obligation to join a health club. You can work out at home! The Million Pound Challenge is opento anyone so share this message with friends, family and coworkers through email and social media. 

Thank you for your support and good luck!

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Feed The Need 2017

Feed The Need is back!

Tour the brand new, state-of-the-art culinary space at Madison College, sample delicious food and spirits by Madison Originals members and enjoy live music from local artists! All proceeds go to The River Food Pantry. Tickets are no longer for sale. We'll see you on Sunday! 

Click here to see the Menu for the event.

Follow and share our Facebook Event's page.

Interested in volunteering at the event? Click here to sign up. 


Check out our video recap from last year's event and find more photos from the 2016 Feed the Need on our Facebook!



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3rd Annual Fun On Ice!


Join us for an afternoon of winter fun on Saturday, January 28, 2017 from 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. The River is hosting an indoor/outdoor family-friendly FUNdraiser at The East Side Club on Monona Drive.

Good Food Madison will be serving delicious homemade soup. We’ll also have hot coffee from Starbucks on Monona Drive and hot chocolate for everyone to enjoy. Yahara Bay Distillery will also be there with spirits for your hot drinks! Reporter/Producer at WISC-TV, Adam Schrager will be the event’s emcee. Enjoy entertainment by The Fancy Pears and 93.1 JAMZ. The UW Marching Band and Bucky Badger will also be there to entertain!

Tickets will be available for a pick-a-prize raffle with a chance to win great prizes such as a Greg Guard signed basketball, one-night stay at Hotel Red and Best Western Plus InnTowner, tickets to a Betty Lou Cruise, a Yumbutter basket, birthday package to Boulders Climbing Gym, and more! If you have something to donate, please contact Hannah Becker, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Come and enjoy good food and good fun for a great cause!

Suggested donation. All proceeds will go to The River Food Pantry.

Thank you to our sponsors: Summit Credit Union & Thysse Printing

Also, thank you Madison Oral Surgery and Dental Implants for sponsoring Bucky Badger!

Click HERE to view the Fun on Ice Facebook event page & share with friends!

 Click HERE to view photos from last year's Fun On Ice event!



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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.