MADISON, Wis. — December 15, 2022 — The River Food Pantry recently received a $500,000 grant from the S.L. Gimbel Foundation, a component fund at The Inland Empire Community Foundation, to expand food access and improve nutrition for low-income and underserved communities throughout Dane County.
“We are extremely grateful to the S.L. Gimbel Foundation for their continued generosity. Their support will help The River provide a reliable, diverse supply of healthy food for local families and children experiencing food insecurity,” said Rhonda Adams, Executive Director of The River. “This investment will have a transformative impact on our neighbors’ health and wellbeing, especially while the cost of groceries is so high.”
The River will use the funding to purchase more fresh produce, healthy proteins, whole grains, and staple foods for all the pantry’s free programs, including curbside groceries, to-go meals, mobile lunches, grocery delivery, online orders, and a Saturday express service. Funds will also go toward culturally-inclusive and medically-recommended foods to diversify options and better support customer choice.
In 2021, the S.L. Gimbel Foundation awarded The River a historic grant to purchase additional fresh fruits and vegetables. With this new grant, The River aims to distribute at least 100,000 nutritionally-balanced meals and 40,000 grocery orders incorporating healthy ingredients to 13,000 residents in low-income and underserved communities by the end of 2023.
“The timing of this grant is invaluable. Inflation has not only pushed more people to depend on The River for food assistance, but it has also made it harder for our pantry to acquire certain items that our customers need for healthy diets,” Adams said. “Thanks to the S.L. Gimbel Foundation and continued support from our donors, The River will be able to provide the quantity and quality of food that our community needs to not only eat well, but to make ends meet.”
Part of the grant funding will also go toward coordination efforts, including additional kitchen staff to facilitate the growth of meal services in the coming year.
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About The River Food Pantry
The River is South Central Wisconsin’s busiest food pantry. Services include free groceries and freshly prepared meals for pickup or delivery, online grocery orders, and mobile meals. The River also redistributes rescued food and resources to local partners to increase access while minimizing waste. Since 2006, The River has grown to serve over 2,500 people every week in pursuit of its vision: a fully nourished community.
The River Food Pantry