If you’re unable to afford enough food and need items for your family, we’ve featured 10 top food banks in Dane County in the list below.
1. St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry
The Madison, WI, branch of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul has been running community service programs since 1925. The food pantry operates four days a week for residents of Dane County living 300 percent below the poverty line. Registered clients order their food online every two weeks and schedule a time for pickup. The pantry also operates a delivery service for elderly and immobile residents in need of food.
You can help the Madison St. Vincent de Paul food pantry by donating or volunteering. To volunteer, complete their online application form. To donate food or hygiene items, follow the guidelines found here; however, online monetary donations are preferred as the funds help to purchase the food items most needed or requested by the community. If you have any other questions or want to know more, contact the Society directly.
2. The River Food Pantry
The River Food Pantry has become one of Madison’s busiest pantries since opening in 2006. They offer home-cooked meals and groceries to Dane County families and individuals suffering from food insecurity. Unlike other food pantry models, the River Food Pantry provides a menu of available grocery items, which are then collected, boxed, and delivered by pantry volunteers. Available items include nonperishable and pantry staples, fresh and frozen produce and meats, breads, and dairy. They also provide personal hygiene items and baby items, if needed.
As a charity, the River Food Pantry relies on the help of the community. Food and in-kind item donations are accepted at the pantry during open hours only, or you can always donate money online. If you’d like to volunteer, you sign up and find the full guidelines here. If you want to know about their other services, contact the food pantry through their online form.
3. Oregon Area Food Pantry
The Oregon Area Food Pantry in Oregon, WI, provides struggling families living in the Oregon School District with nutritious and filling foods to supplement their grocery shop. At least twice a week, the Oregon Area Food Pantry opens for eligible residents to collect prepackaged food bags containing nonperishable food items, breads and cereals, and even personal hygiene products.
Helping the Oregon Area Food Pantry has never been easier: to volunteer during distribution hours, complete this online form; check out the list of needed food items and how to donate here; and donate funds by mailing a check to the pantry or through this online form. Contact the pantry for any other questions.
4. Sun Prairie Emergency Food Pantry
Since 1993, the Sun Prairie Emergency Food Pantry in Sun Prairie, WI, has been providing much needed help to any person suffering from food insecurity due to low income and high living costs. Every two weeks, eligible clients can receive a box containing a range of fresh and frozen produce and meats, dried goods, pantry staples, juices, dairy, and personal hygiene items. For those unable to drive to the pantry, they offer a free taxi service for Sun Prairie residents.
Volunteers are vital to the success of the Sun Prairie Emergency Food Pantry; you can sign up to be one here. Donations are also vital to the pantry: food and in-kind donation items can be donated at the pantry itself Monday through Friday, 8am-11am, and monetary donations can be made using their online form. For any other questions, contact them here or by email.
5. Cambridge CAP Food Pantry and Resource Center
The Cambridge Community Activities Program (CAP) was established in Cambridge, WI, in 2003. The food pantry and resource center is one of their flagship programs and provides residents of the Cambridge School District with needed food and emergency resources. Every other Monday, clients can shop the pantry shelves of canned and dried goods, pantry staples, dairy, eggs, fresh meats and produce, and personal hygiene items.
You can volunteer at the pantry by completing the registration form found here. If you’d like to donate money to help purchase food for the pantry, you can do so here. If you want to find out how to donate food or in-kind items to the pantry or have any other questions, contact them by email.
6. Neighbors Helping Neighbors Food Closet
Every Friday evening and Saturday morning in Mount Horeb, WI, Neighbors Help Neighbors Inc opens their food closet for residents unable to purchase enough food to feed them and their families each month. These residents can shop the food closet to receive nutritious and lasting foods to stretch their groceries until the next paycheck. There is even a Community Clothes Closet which offers clothing and bedding, if needed.
Volunteers are needed for every aspect of running the food closet, from collecting food from local grocery stores to helping clients shop the shelves. Monetary donations also help the food closet through purchasing food and other supplies. Contact the pantry for more information or if you want to make a food donation.
7. Middleton Outreach Ministry Pantry
Founded in 1980 in Middleton, WI, the Middleton Outreach Ministry (MOM) provides food to anyone living in Middleton, West Madison, or Cross Plains, WI. The pantry opens three times a week, and clients can shop the food pantry shelves for food as often as they want. They also operate a mobile food pantry, a community garden which supplies fresh produce to the food pantry, and school programs to ensure no child goes hungry.
There are multiple ways to volunteer at the MOM food pantry; you can read about them and register here. You can also donate food and other items following the guidelines found here, or you can donate money anytime using their online form. Contact the MOM food pantry for more information.
8. Badger Prairie Needs Network
Since 1986, the Badger Prairie Needs Network in Verona, WI, has operated a food pantry for the low-income residents of Dane County. Eligible visitors receive up to two weeks’ worth of food, including fresh produce and meats, dried goods, dairy, eggs, and available nonperishable items.
You can register to become a volunteer by filling out their online form. To donate food or other items, follow the guidelines found here. Monetary donations are also accepted. Contact the pantry if you have any other questions.
9. Waunakee Ecumenical Board Food Pantry
The Waunakee Ecumenical Board opened their food pantry in 2003 in response to the need for more community assistance and resources in the Waunakee, WI, area. Their food pantry serves low-income individuals and families living in the Waunakee School District and Village of Dane by providing 3-7 days’ worth of food. There is no limit to how often a client can visit the pantry; clients can receive a prepackaged box of food or pre-order the food online for pickup.
Waunakee Ecumenical Board accepts all food and in-kind item donations in the donation bin during pantry open hours but not during distribution times. Monetary donations are accepted by check or online anytime of the year. You can also register to be a volunteer. To find out more about their other programs, contact them by phone or email.
10. Heights Unlimited Community Resource Center
In Black Earth, WI, the Heights Unlimited Community Resource Center operates a food pantry serving residents of Black Earth, Arena, Blue Mounds, Cross Plains, and Mazomanie. Every Tuesday, low-income residents of these areas can visit the Heights Unlimited food pantry to shop pantry shelves containing dried foods, produce, frozen meats, hygiene products, and even baby and pet items.
Volunteers and in-kind donations are needed for every aspect of the Heights Unlimited food pantry, as well as their other programs and services. Monetary donations are also accepted as they help to purchase needed items and help retain the pantry space. Depending on your question or need, visit their contact page to find out who and how to contact.
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