(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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Hovde Foundation Donates $15,000


Hovde Foundation Donates $15,000 to The River Food Pantry


The River Food Pantry, Dane County’s busiest food pantry, received a $15,000 grant from the Hovde Foundation last week.


The Hovde Foundation, founded by brothers Eric and Steve Hovde in 1998, has two primary objectives: to assist neglected, abused and vulnerable people, especially children, around the world and to fund research towards a cure for Multiple Sclerosis.


Each week, The River Food Pantry serves 600 food insecure families or individuals and distributes up to 30,000 pounds of food. Of those the River serves, 37% are children.


The Hovde Foundation’s grant for operating expenses will provide food for over 3,000 client household visits to the River.  Eric Hovde, presenting the check to Andy and Jenny Czerkas, was struck by the impact of River’s work in Madison, “It’s heartbreaking to see the needs of so many in our community, but so encouraging to see what the committed staff and volunteers of River are doing to help.”


“We are so grateful that the Hovde Foundation sought us out and that they were excited by what they found,” said River founder and director, Andy Czerkas.


“Not only is the Hovde Foundation supporting our operation, Executive Director, Jeff Boyd and employees from Hovde Properties in Madison donated ingredients, prepared and served a free hot meal for our clients. Eric Hovde and his wife Sharon even took the time to come and help serve,” said Betsy Ezell, the River Food Pantry’s Development Director. “Clearly, the Hovdes and those involved with the Foundation are passionate about helping the needy. This really impressed us.”


Find out more about the Hovde Foundation at




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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.