Through Whole Foods Market’s Nourishing Our Neighborhoods program, The River will redistribute fresh food to those in need
MADISON, Wis. — December 14, 2023 — The River Food Pantry is now the recipient of a new refrigerated van, gifted to the local nonprofit organization through Whole Foods Market’s Nourishing Our Neighborhoods program to support picking up fresh food and redistributing it to those in need.
On December 13, both The River staff and Whole Foods Market team members at the new Madison store celebrated by filling the van to the brim with 2,720 pounds of donated products, bound for community members experiencing food insecurity.
“We are very grateful to Whole Foods Market for their generosity,” said Rhonda Adams, Executive Director of The River. “The food recovery program that this new van will support redirects over 1.5 million pounds of food annually—helping fill hungry bellies, not landfills.”
The River works with over 60 local retailers, including area grocers, farmers markets, and convenience stores, to rescue unpurchased food that would otherwise go to waste and redistribute it to households in need throughout Dane County.
“We’re so thrilled to expand our relationship with The River Food Pantry and further support their food rescue efforts to nourish South Central Wisconsin,” said Paul Sigmund, Store Team Leader at Whole Foods Market Madison. “Not only will this van help transport more rescued food to neighbors in need, but it will also help reduce food waste and do so much good to create long-term impact nourishing the community.”
Whole Foods Market launched Nourishing Our Neighborhoods in September 2020 and has donated more than 40 refrigerated vans to food rescue partners to transport food to communities across the U.S. and Canada. These food rescue partners participate in the company’s Grocery Rescue Program — picking up food from their stores weekly and redistributing it to feed neighbors fresh, high-quality food as quickly as possible.
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, mobile meals, and emergency food lockers. 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.