(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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It's More Than Just Food At The Pantry


For the past 11 years, The River Food Pantry’s mission has been to help individuals and families struggling to make ends meet by providing food, clothing, and meals while also connecting with the community and contributing to a greater good. Angela

There are many reasons why a person walks through The River’s door, many need that little assistance of the pantry so they can pay their bills and rent on time. For others, there simply would not be food on the table if it wasn’t for The River Food Pantry. Angela has been shopping at The River on and off for the past 5 years. “It hasn’t always been like this for me,” Angela recalls after having her car loaded with bags full of food from the pantry. “Everything changed when I had my son, Thor, and became a stay at home mom.” Angela’s husband works long hours as a cab drive but the one source of income just isn’t enough for the family to make ends meet on their own.

Angela said she’s so thankful for a place like The River because her family is not always able to purchase groceries with their budget. “We simply do not have enough money,” Angela stated. “It’s really unfortunate that we have to rely on the pantry for a source of food at times but without it, I don’t know what we’d do.”

Not only is The River a place for Angela and her family to receive clothes and groceries, it’s an environment that she feels comfortable to open up to. At a young age, Thor was diagnosed with autism, “I can still recall telling the news to Rhonda, The River’s Operations Director, when he was first diagnosed,” Angela recalls. “She hugged me and reassured me that everything was going to be okay, and she was right…He’s my own little super hero.”

Guests who visit The River not only receive fresh, nutritious food and basic necessities, but they also enjoy the simple pleasure of decency, compassion and dignity. The River understands behind every plate and every product, there’s a person and a neighbor in need. With the help of volunteers and donors, people like Angela know they have a place for food, clothing, comfort and a place to connect with others in the community. “I know it’s going to get better,” Angela shared with a smile. “I’m just glad we have this place to rely on for right now.”


Read more about Angela and how The River has helped her in the 2017 Spring Newsletter.



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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.