(608) 442-8815



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

“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.”


New Client

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

See the Pantry Publications.Arrow

It's a feeling of satisfaction. A sense of fulfillment. It's about providing nutrition while nourishing a connected community. The River counts on neighbors to help neighbors in need.

We invite you to step inside and take a seat at the table. See who we serve. See how we serve. See why we serve. 

Volunteer Opportunities

Food Pantry volunteers: Please arrive on time for a brief pre-session volunteer orientation and job assignment. If you have any questions, or to learn how your church, student group, organization, or company can help, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. us or call 608-442-8815, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Mobile Lunch Program Volunteers: The River is also looking for volunteers to help with our Madison Unites to Nourish Children at Home (MUNCH) program. MUNCH bridges the gap that exists when school lunch is not available on weekends and over school breaks. If you have questions, about the program please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.Sign up HERE to volunteer for MUNCH. 

 Get Involved Flyer

Get Involved Flyer 2

pdfClick here for a printable version of volunteer hours.

pdfClick here for a printable version of our volunteer handbook.10.37 KB

Wondering what it's like to volunteer at The River?


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

Professional Volunteering Opportunities:

The River also occasionally needs volunteer professional expertise in the following areas:

  • Fundraising
  • Special event coordination
  • Grant writing
  • Truck maintenance
  • Legal services

If you have any of these or any another professional expertise you believe might be of assistance to The River Food Pantry—thank you!and please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call us at 608-442-8815.

How else might you help?

Click here to submit online Volunteer Application Form.

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.