Free Thanksgiving To-go Meals for Dane County Families in Need | The River Food Pantry
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Each Thanksgiving to-go meal will be served cold and include a menu with reheating instructions and allergen information, as presented by The River’s Community Meals Coordinator, Chris Tuttle (left), and Interim Executive Director, Rhonda Adams.

MADISON, Wis. — November 20, 2020 — The River Food Pantry will provide fully-prepared Thanksgiving to-go meals next week for food-insecure families in Dane County to take home for each member of their household.

“A holiday meal has always been a luxury that many local families can’t afford,” said Rhonda Adams, Interim Executive Director of The River. “Because of COVID-19, more families will not be able to even access a holiday meal due to safety concerns related to traveling, shopping and gathering. The River’s Thanksgiving to-go meals will provide a free, safe and accessible alternative for the growing number of Dane County families facing food insecurity.”

The meals will be available for pickup at The River on Nov. 23 through Nov. 25 between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Clients of The River can pick up meals for their household only once during this time period. There is no need to sign up in advance.

Each meal will include turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, green bean casserole or corn, stuffing, a roll and a slice of pie. All the food was prepared by a combination of staff, volunteers and community partners, including Madison College.

“We are so grateful to Madison College’s Culinary Arts students and faculty for once again roasting and preparing all the turkeys and 800 pounds of mashed potatoes and gravy!” Adams said. “We also cannot thank all our volunteers enough for helping our staff cook, package and serve all the meals.”

Distributed through The River’s curbside meal program, FAM (Family At-Home Meals), the meals will be served cold with reheating instructions and allergen information.

Throughout the week before Thanksgiving, The River’s curbside distribution has also provided holiday grocery essentials, including a choice of turkey, ham or chicken.

Dane County residents who cannot leave home to travel to The River may qualify for The River’s new free delivery service, called River Delivers, to receive both household groceries and meals. Registration in advance at is required for deliveries.

In addition to Thanksgiving, The River plans to distribute holiday to-go meals and groceries leading up to Christmas. “Through this new approach, anyone in our community can safely enjoy a delicious holiday meal—even if we can’t all be together,” Adams said.

The holiday to-go meals are made possible by community support of The River’s H.O.P.E. (Help Other People Eat) Holiday Meal Campaign. Learn more and give to H.O.P.E. at

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About The River Food Pantry
Serving Dane County since 2006, The River Food Pantry provides food, resources and faith to build a stronger community. Services include free curbside groceries, mobile lunches for children, deliveries to the homebound, and to-go meals for families to enjoy at home. As South Central Wisconsin’s busiest food pantry, The River serves over 1,000 households every week in pursuit of its vision: a fully nourished community.

Media Contact
Becca Carpenter
Communications Manager
The River Food Pantry

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