Honoring Veterans in Dane County with Free Groceries, Meals and Clothing | The River Food Pantry
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The River is focusing on serving food insecure veterans with a designated market session on Wednesdays from 11am–1pm. This new market session, which began May 1, is also open to seniors ages 60 and over.

Similar to other regular weekly market sessions at The River, veteran and senior clients will be able to shop for free groceries and clothing, as well as enjoy a free community meal.

We added a weekly market session just for veterans and seniors for several reasons. First, we wanted to honor these groups with more flexible and convenient services. Our other market sessions can get busy. A designated market session is a way to reduce any potential stress that could deter these vulnerable populations from visiting The River more often. We also saw a need in our community to reach more veterans.

According to Feeding America, out of the 46 million people served each year by food banks, 20% of households include someone who has served, or is currently serving, in the U.S. military.

Rhonda Adams, The River’s VP and Director of Advancement and a veteran herself, played a key role in establishing the new market session.

“Veterans have protected and served our country. They do not deserve to go hungry, and neither do their families,” Adams said. “This new market session is one way The River can better serve veterans in need.”

To expand our network of veterans, we are talking with veterans groups, like the Wisconsin Veterans Chamber of Commerce, about ways to identify veterans in need of food assistance and to raise awareness of The River’s services.

To connect with veterans within the senior population—and any other food insecure seniors, we are partnering with NewBridge Madison, a local senior coalition that provides meals, performs chores and offers activities that help 16,000 seniors each year live independently in their homes. We are also collaborating with RSVP of Dane County to provide home delivery service for homebound seniors.

By working together, we will build a stronger community for all.

We ask first-time visitors to bring proof of address and identification for each member in their household. Veterans should also bring a valid military ID. Learn more here.

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