(608) 442-8815



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

"The River is more family oriented than other food pantries I've been to. Other places basically kick you in and kick you out again. I know a lot of people who use The River.  It's made a real difference in their lives."


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

See the Pantry Publications.Arrow

Volunteer Opportunities:

The River is looking for volunteers for a mobile lunch program, Madison Unites to Nourish Children at Home (MUNCH). This program provides mobile lunch services directly to children and teens within their local neighborhoods, where it is needed most. MUNCH bridges the gap that exists when school lunch is not available on weekends and over school breaks.  

About MUNCH:                                                 

The MUNCH program addresses a basic need for both social and educational growth through a mobile, neighborhood program that brings lunch to children and teens. Proper, consistent nutrition for children is vital to their success in school. It is known that the gap in education achievement of children in poverty is large, and the gap is present even before they start school.  

Neighborhoods that are selected for the free lunch distributions have large populations of children eligible for a free school lunch. The River is excited to be working with north side Madison residents directly within their neighborhoods, while also providing an opportunity for other volunteers to get involved.  

Madison school's are back in session but MUNCH is still delivering lunches every Saturday and Sunday, and non-school day! We need your help with lunch production and lunch distribution.  

How can you help?

Volunteer to help.

  • 9:15 - 11 a.m. Fridays lunch production
  • 8:30 - 11 a.m. Saturdays lunch production
  • 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays lunch distribution

Sign up HERE to volunteer for MUNCH.

Individual and group volunteer opportunities exist for both sandwich production at the pantry and site service at the neighborhoods. For more information regarding how to sign up to volunteer for MUNCH, please send an email to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 

Who can volunteer?

Just about anyone. Most of our volunteers are individuals, but we encourage and welcome organized groups to lend us a hand, such as:

  • Teams from churches
  • Teams from college organizations
  • Teams from community organizations
  • Employees given time off by their companies to do community work


MUNCH Van 2017   MUNCH distribution1

IMG 1698 honda

MUNCH124   IMG 1792

Thank you to the following organizations for the generous support.    

dreamfoundation  walmart  

    stricker logo horizontal       city of madison logo         makeitbetter


Current Needs

"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.