What is The River Food Pantry?
The River Food Pantry is Dane County’s busiest food pantry, offering free groceries, meals and mobile lunches to anyone who comes for help. Located in a warehouse just off Northport Drive and Packers Avenue, The River is surrounded by low-income neighborhoods and subsidized senior housing—exactly where we’re needed the most. We also provide a mobile lunch program for children and teens in low-income neighborhoods surrounding the food pantry. Nutritious packed lunches are distributed in the neighborhoods on weekends and other non-school days.
More than just meals, The River provides a warm and welcoming family atmosphere where everyone is treated with respect, encouraged to find the support they need, and given the opportunity to share what they can with others.
The River serves over 1,000 Dane County families per week, sharing over 50 thousand pounds of food every seven days, or about 2.7 million pounds of food each year. Over $1 million worth of clothing, furniture and household items are distributed annually. We also serve nearly 800 hot meals each week and currently distribute over 400 mobile packed lunches on each non-school day.
In 2019, The River received 31,794 family visits. Approximately 33% of those served by The River are children and 14% are seniors. In 2019, The River provided 66,048 packed lunches to children and teens with MUNCH, The River’s mobile lunch program.