(608) 442-8815



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

"I just wanted to thank you for the opportunity to volunteer. It was my first experience volunteering at the River Food Pantry and it definitely will not be my last. You were so welcoming and friendly. You truly run a top notch organization. The system is well planned out, the selection of available items was amazing and you have a great staff of volunteers. I had a lot of fun and I think the work you do for the community is wonderful."


First Time Volunteer

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

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Is being healthy a luxury?

When a visit to the doctor is too costly... 

Last week, a client was waiting to start shopping and was in visible pain. This young woman's arm had been hurting and she couldn't lift it above shoulder height. She thinks it's tendonitis, based on internet research she has done. She has simply been suffering with the pain because she can't afford to go to the doctor. 

For another client, the unbearable pain in her ear necessitated a trip to urgent care. Diagnosed with an ear infection weeks ago, she is frustrated by her long struggle to get well. She was going on her third trip to urgent care after the food pantry that day, hoping that maybe this doctor could finally help her.

For those without insurance, there is incredible stress related to getting sick. For many of our clients, a trip to the doctor or one prescription is a luxury often out of financial reach, or when it is necessary, is a major financial burden.

This is just one of the realities of life for our clients. Life in poverty is struggle, especially without the safety net of health insurance. At The River, we are able to provide a measure of relief in the midst of struggle: a week's worth of groceries that can ease some of the financial strain or a free hot meal to provide some comfort. Thank you to all of you who support The River with your volunteer time, your food and clothing donations and your financial support. In light of all that our clients are going through, the free food you help provide makes a huge difference.

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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.