(608) 442-8815



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

“I can’t believe I’m just hearing about The River and it’s right in my neighborhood! I am so glad for a place to donate clothes where I know it will go directly to people in need. I am talking up The River to all my friends.” 


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

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Blurring the lines between the server and the served

At The River Food Pantry, volunteers make it happen. Almost 100 people each week give a few hours to help meet the basic food and clothing needs of their neighbors in Dane County. It is remarkable who shows up to serve.

Today at the pantry these are the volunteers I saw:

  • Ferris Center inmates volunteering their time through the Huber work release program
  • A Mexican immigrant couple
  • A young woman who works part time and helps run a Christian ministry in Madison
  • A mom and her 5 year old son who are international missionaries home on furlough looking for something fun to do
  • An elderly, retired photographer
  • A client who saw the need for more volunteers and stepped in to help out with our clothing area after she got her food
  • A woman who lives a few blocks from the pantry and who regularly comes to help out a couple times a week

Some interesting facts about River volunteers: Almost 25% of our volunteers are also clients. Last year, volunteers gave over 26,000 hours of service—which is the equivalent of 13 full time jobs!

Who might be there to volunteer tomorrow?

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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

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.