The River Food Pantry Voted Best Charitable Organization & Best Chef in People’s Choice Awards | The River Food Pantry

MADISON, Wis. — September 3, 2023 — The River Food Pantry has been voted both Best Charitable Organization and Best Chef through the 2023 People’s Choice Awards.

Click to read The River’s listing in the People’s Choice Winners Guide.

“We put a lot of love into serving our neighbors in need,” said Rhonda Adams, Executive Director of The River. “Both of these awards make us feel the love from our community. We are so honored and grateful for everyone’s votes.”

This marks the third year in a row that the community has voted the pantry Best Charitable Organization among over 3,000 nonprofit organizations in the area. It is also the first time that The River won the category of Best Chef in recognition of Chris Tuttle, The River’s Meal Manager since 2019.

With 30 years of kitchen experience, Tuttle works with The River’s Meal Coordinator, Rachael Maynes, and volunteers to lead the production of over 2,000 freshly prepared to-go meals each week. These meals are offered at no cost for pantry clients to take home for each of their household members.

The River’s Meal Manager, Chris Tuttle (left), and Meal Coordinator, Rachael Maynes (right), led the production of 80,000 freshly prepared to-go meals in 2022.

To satisfy a wide array of preferences, Tuttle and his team create a new menu every week that includes meat and vegetarian options, along with a side salad and fresh fruit. The menu is determined based on what The River receives through food recovery and donations, as well as purchased food.

“We are all extremely proud of Chris for receiving this well-deserved recognition,” Adams said. “The meals his team creates each week are healthy, well-balanced, diverse, and delicious. And yes, these restaurant-quality meals are being prepared and distributed at a food pantry!”

Since opening in 2006, The River has become South Central Wisconsin’s busiest food pantry. Through its combined services, the pantry served 13,000 unique individuals throughout Dane County a total of 207,000 times last year.

The River’s free services include:

  • Curbside groceries
  • Freshly prepared meals
  • Delivery to the homebound
  • Online grocery orders
  • Mobile meals for low-income neighborhoods
  • Redistribution community partnerships
  • Food recovery
  • Emergency food lockers

Learn more about The River’s services and how to get involved at

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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, 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.

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