The River Food Pantry Establishes COVID-19 Emergency Food Fund | The River Food Pantry

Funding provides boxes of food for curbside pick-up and MUNCH mobile lunch delivery to children

MADISON, Wis. — March 16, 2020 — The River Food Pantry has established a COVID-19 Emergency Food Fund to meet the nutritional needs of food-insecure households in Dane County for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic. An anonymous donor has generously offered to match donations up to $25,000.

“In response to school closures and widespread impact by this global health crisis, the demand for our essential services increases,” said Charles McLimans, The River President/CEO. “We have increased our hours of distribution to provide a safe environment while meeting increased demand for emergency food and supplies.”

The River’s COVID-19 Emergency Food Fund will help to provide boxes of groceries, including perishable and non-perishable foods, for hundreds of local households to pick up curbside at The River. The fund will also provide pre-bagged lunches for children delivered through MUNCH, The River’s mobile lunch program, to nine low-income neighborhoods six days a week.

Donate here to support The River’s COVID-19 Emergency Food Fund.

NEW COVID-19 Updates at The River as of March 16
In addition to raising emergency funds, The River has made the following contingency plan adjustments:

  • Curbside only pick-up: The River will not allow shoppers inside of the facility as previously stated. Instead, prepared boxes of groceries will be available for pick up curbside. Our curbside pick-up distribution hours will be Tuesday–Thursday from 10:00am–5:00pm and Friday from 10:00am–6:00pm.
  • MUNCH mobile lunch program six days a week: MUNCH will deliver pre-bagged lunches Monday–Saturday to children in the standard neighborhoods, as well as Kennedy Heights. See the schedule here. The River will not provide MUNCH lunches onsite on Fridays as stated previously.
  • Volunteers needed: The River seeks healthy volunteers who are not in the higher-risk demographic to help at The River with food packaging and distribution, as well as client registration. Volunteers are also needed to help with MUNCH lunch production (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 8:30am–10:30am) and lunch distribution (Monday–Saturday from 10:45am–2:30pm). Sign up to volunteer here.
  • In-kind donations not accepted: To minimize the chain of possession of contact with products, we prefer not to accept at this time onsite donations of food, clothing, hygiene products, etc. Monetary donations will allow us to purchase in bulk the specific food and supplies that the community needs.

The River plans to continue to operate for the duration of this community emergency. Updates will continue to be made on our website, social media, and voicemail system as necessary. Questions and concerns can be directed to or 608-442-8815.

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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 groceries, meals and clothing, as well as free mobile lunches for children and teens on non-school days. As the area’s busiest food pantry, The River serves over 1,000 households every week in pursuit of its vision: a fully nourished community. Learn more at

Media Contact:
Charles McLimans
President & CEO
The River Food Pantry | 608-440-0099

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