Dane County invests $1.5M for River Food Pantry expansion 

Dane County Executive Joe Parisi joined The River Food Pantry Executive Director Rhonda Adams, along with staff, volunteers, and community supporters on Thursday to announce Dane County’s investment of $1.5 million to kickstart The River Food Pantry’s efforts to build a new and bigger home. 

The funding will help the pantry grow and meet increasing needs in the community at a time when demand for food assistance remains great. 

The total cost of the expansion project is estimated to be $7.9 million and will be funded through a public-private partnership. The River Food Pantry plans to acquire land and construct a building that can host the wide variety of food systems work the organization does. 

Dane County’s 2023 budget includes the $1.5 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds to support the expansion, which will add up to about 25,000 square feet of space for organization. 

In 2022, The River Food Pantry provided over 2.9 million pounds of food and supplies and 80,022 to-go meals, and it recovered approximately 1.5 million pounds of food and supplies. The organization served nearly 13,000 people and had 1,674 new families register for the first time.