Mary’s Story | Volunteering at The River is the highlight of my week | The River Food Pantry
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Mary (left) volunteers frequently at The River with her sister, Susan (right).

When I moved to the north side of Madison 15 years ago, I heard about The River Food Pantry. When I became a case manager helping people find housing, I visited The River with my clients to help them establish a reliable source for food. I was impressed with the efficiency as well as the amount of food my clients could obtain from the pantry.

After retiring, I began to volunteer at the pantry. Had I known how much fun it is, I would have volunteered a long time ago!

  • The River’s mission is to ensure people in our community have enough food
  • The River serves over 1,000 families a week. You know as a volunteer that you are NEEDED to make the food program work.
  • The tasks assigned are simple, yet volunteers know their time and efforts are appreciated—and that appreciation is often expressed by staff.
  • Part of the fun of volunteering is interacting with the people using the pantry, who are generally kind and appreciative.
  • An added bonus is that volunteers can have a delicious meal made by Chris, their chef. On my first day of volunteering, I almost passed up the meal because I was busy enjoying myself. I was very surprised at how delicious the meal was and now look forward to it as part of my volunteer experience.

Volunteering at The River is the highlight of my week because it’s FUN. I enjoy the people and know I am contributing to making my community a kinder, healthier and more JOYful place to live. Who would not want to be a part of that kind of action?!

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