(608) 442-8815



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

“I have always been the type of person that hates to ask for help. With the struggles I have had trying to find a job, I had to lower my pride and walk into the door at The River. The volunteers and helpers were so kind to me and explained what I needed to do. I ended up with more groceries than I ever imagined I would receive. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for putting food back on my table!”


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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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Host your own food, fund or recycling drive

The River's greatest challenge is getting enough food to keep our shelves stocked for the growing numbers of people seeking food assistance. You can help meet that challenge by hosting a food, fund or recycling drive. Here's how:

Food Drive:
Borrow a food barrel from The River for use during your drive. Let us know the details of when and where and we'll help you publicize it on our social media outlets. Here's a list of the kind of non-perishables we need. Return the barrel and the food during our regular donation hours. If it's more than you can handle yourself, let us know and we can come help pick it up.

Fund Drive:
For every $10 donated to The River, we can give away $100 worth of food! The River can stretch your dollar for the maximum impact for hungry families. Garage sales, bake sales, matching fund drives, penny wars, car washes, give your latte money, birthday parties--give donation instead of presents or cards, etc. We'd love to hear your creative ideas!

Recycling Drive:
The River can recycle your old cell phone, power cords and keys for money to purchase food. Host a "Cell Phone-a-Thon" or a "The Keys to Hunger Relief" or some other cleverly named drive at work or church or school. Contact us and we can get you the collection boxes. If you'd like to host a larger recycling drive for appliances, computers, etc. to benefit The River, contact eCycle for Hope through their website:


If you plan to do a drive and want help promoting it, need a food barrel or recycling collection box please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Thanks for helping!

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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.