(608) 442-8815


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"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."


Former Client

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

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Harvest Dinner Recipe for Butternut Squash Soup

Here is the long-awaited recipe for the fabulous first course of the Harvest Dinner for Hunger.  Enjoy!

Butternut Squash Soup

5 Butternut Squash
1 gallon heavy cream
1 teaspoon cinnamon    
1 teaspoon curry
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cumin
salt and white pepper to taste 

8oz butter
1 cup all purpose flour
Melt butter and using a whisk, blend in flour to form a smooth paste.
Chili cream - 8 ounces sour cream + 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
Cinnamon/Nutmeg cream - 8 ounces sour cream + 1 tablespoon cinnamon or nutmeg (or both reduce to 1 teaspoon each) and a teaspoon of sugar.
Cut squash in half and scoop out seeds and pulp. Place on a sheet tray and bake for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until flesh turns golden brown. Squash should be soft and mushy.
Scrape squash out of the skin and place in a heavy stockpot. Add cream, spices, salt and pepper. Simmer on medium heat for 30 minutes. Add roux. Blend the soup with a hand held blender to remove chunks. Simmer for 15 minutes on medium stirring occasionally. Garnish with chili cream or for a fall touch, cinnamon or nutmeg cream.   


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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.