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

"I just wanted to take a minute to say thank you. The River was a source of comfort for me a few years back when I lost a job. Before that, like many people seem to, I thought a food pantry was only for "bums". I was ashamed to go. But once there, I saw the people there were just like me - people who had simply fallen on bad luck, were having trouble making ends meet. It was a very respectful place, free from judgment. Thank you."

Leah

Former Client

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

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Mobile Lunch Program Feeds Children

Children in the Woodland Park Apartments run, hop, skip and giggle when they see The River Food Pantry’s large white van pull into the neighborhood parking lot. Children eagerly line up while volunteers and The River staff unload their vehicle and arrange coolers and a table on the grass located in the center of the neighborhood. You can hear “Yes please” and “No thank you” while children choose what food they would like to eat for lunch. During this time, any child or teen can come up to the table to choose items of a nutritional lunch and then sit down with their neighbors to enjoy a meal together. After eating, the children help load everything into the vehicle and then wave goodbye while the white van heads back to The River Food Pantry.

In June 2016, The River launched a mobile lunch program called Madison Unites to Nourish Chidlren at Home (MUNCH). The program distributes nutritional lunches when the Madison Metropolitan School District’s (MMSD) free meals aren’t available. MUNCH is currently at five north side neighborhoods. More low-income neighborhoods will be added as funding allows.

“Having been raised in a low-income family with many difficulties, including issues with hunger, I can attest that sometimes food benefits and the average paycheck may not always be enough to provide for a growing family,” Dani Barker, The River Food Pantry’s Meal Service Coordinator, said. “Available resources such as MUNCH and The River Food Pantry can make the difference between being hungry and feeling content. ‘It takes a village to raise a child’.”

 With the help of volunteers, lunches are prepared at The River Food Pantry’s kitchen every Saturday morning and then distributed at the neighborhoods every Saturday and Sunday afternoon and all non-school days. The River is committed to offering healthy food choices that will help prepare children for social and educational growth. Collaboration with neighborhood staff and residents is absolutely critical in this program. The goal is to have residents become volunteer ambassadors for their neighborhood and be involved in distribution and production of lunches.

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Click here to get involved with MUNCH.

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"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
Email: info@riverfoodpantry.org

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.