(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.

See the Pantry Publications.Arrow

A New Chapter In The Life of The River

Before the River Food Pantry opened its doors in 2006, founders Andy and Jenny Czerkas, along with their church, started an outreach to two of the low income neighborhoods along Northport Drive and partnered with the neighborhood to organize monthly dinners. As the couple grew relationships with residents, it became apparent that more help was needed in the community. They helped create two small emergency food pantries in the neighborhood, but the need for help on a bigger scale on Madison’s north side and Dane County was evident.

The couple took the initiative and rented an 8,000 sq ft warehouse on Darwin Road. They received donations of building materials, shelving, kitchen appliances, and a startup finances from local businesses, churches and individuals. After a five-month period and 3,500 volunteer hours of construction, The River Food Pantry was open to the public.

Since the beginning, Andy and Jenny’s vision, faith, hard work, dedication and enthusiasm have driven The River to the tremendous success we have had towards ending hunger and building a stronger community for all. It is hard to express sufficient gratitude for all that they have done.

As we turn the page on 2017, we also start a new chapter in the life of The River Food Pantry. After twelve years of tremendous work on behalf of the community served through our mission, our founders Andy and Jenny Czerkas are transitioning to a new chapter in their lives.

Over a year ago we started a journey of discovery to find an Executive Director to lead The River to its next stage of development. The search culminated in the hiring of Charles McLimans as our new leader in April of 2017. The leadership of The River is in very capable hands. Most of you have met Charles McLimans by now and know that he brings vast experience, faith and passion to lead The River in to the future.

Screen Shot 2018 01 10 at 11.57.28 AM

Leave your comments

terms and condition.
  • No comments found
Share this post
FaceBook  Twitter     
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.