(608) 442-8815



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“I never dreamed in a million years that I’d be using a food pantry. I was laid off and my 99 weeks of unemployment just ran out. I almost cried the last couple weeks I’ve been here. I am just so thankful for The River.”


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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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Sweet Potato Project--Grow, Harvest, Eat some & Give some!

The Madison community is gearing up for its initial year of the Sweet Potato Project. This project is a partnership with The River Food Pantry, Community Action Coalition, Slow Food Madison, Equinox Farms, and UW Extension to get Madison planting, harvesting and then donating half of their sweet potato harvest to local food pantries. The Sweet Potato Project - Madison is modeled after a similar venture in Kansas City.

While the main goal is to engage the entire Madison community on hunger related issues, this project will also be a great way to educate Madison on home gardening and enjoying slow food. If you are a new gardener or are unsure of how to grow sweet potatoes, classes will be offered through the project. The UW Extension, John Binkley with Equinox Farms, among others, will teach classes throughout the spring on the best ways to plant, grow, and harvest sweet potatoes.

The Sweet Potato Project is not only targeted to home gardeners, but also to community gardens, food pantry gardens, and small farms. Currently, almost 3,000 slips have been spoken for, with the final goal of 8,000 sweet potato plants! This could provide 12,000 pounds of sweet potatoes to The River and local food pantries! The sweet potatoes will be given away free of charge to anyone who signs up to plant the sweet potato slips.

Sign up to grow Sweet Potatoes here:

Donate to help cover the cost of the slips : (When donating, be sure to include Sweet Potato Project in the dedication field!)

To learn more, visit:


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  • Dana Lubet, DDS
  • Steven M Blank

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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.