(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 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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Pantry Hours

Need help? The pantry is open at the following times:

Tuesday 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Open for groceries and clothing
Tuesday 5:00 - 6:30 p.m. Open for groceries, clothing and community dinner
Thursday 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.  Open for groceries and clothing
Thursday 5:00 - 6:30 p.m. Open for groceries, clothing and community dinner
Friday 6:00 - 7:00 p.m.  Open for groceries, clothing and community dinner. Doors open at 5:00 p.m. 

Meal and clothing services close 15 minutes before the food pantry closes to ensure all have adquate time to shop the food pantry. 

pdfClick here for a printable version of pantry hours (English).pdf

pdfClick here for a printable version of pantry hours (para Espanol)362.57 KB

pdfClick here for answers to Frequently Asked Questions181.75 KB

Click here for directions to The River Food Pantry


What to bring to The River in order to shop: 

Any resident of Dane County who is in need can use the food pantry. Please bring proof of address and household size. A recent bill or other piece of mail can be used as proof of address (make sure it's dated within the previous 3 months). You can also use mail for proof of household size (one piece of mail per person). Examples of other documents for household size would include insurance cards, school IDs, birth certificates, Social Security cards, vaccination records, etc.

pdfClick here for a list of acceptable documentation196.36 KB


Interested in making a donation?

Donations can be dropped off at The River Food Pantry, 2201 Darwin Rd, Madison, WI 53704: 

  • Monday & Wednesday: 9:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Thursday & Friday: 9:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.

pdfClick here for a printable version of donation hours and info623.17 KB

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.