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River Food Pantry to offer free Thanksgiving meals to-go for food insecure families

Thanksgiving dinner food setup

MADISON (WKOW) -- The River Food Pantry will provide fully-prepared Thanksgiving to-go meals next week for food-insecure families in Dane County next week.

“A holiday meal has always been a luxury that many local families can’t afford,” said Rhonda Adams, Interim Executive Director of The River. “Because of COVID-19, more families will not be able to even access a holiday meal due to safety concerns related to traveling, shopping and gathering. The River’s Thanksgiving to-go meals will provide a free, safe and accessible alternative for the growing number of Dane County families facing food insecurity.”

The meals will be available for pickup at The River on Nov. 23 through Nov. 25 between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Clients of The River can pick up meals for their household only once during this time period. There is no need to sign up in advance.

Each meal will include turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, green bean casserole or corn, stuffing, a roll and a slice of pie. All the food was prepared by a combination of staff, volunteers and community partners, including Madison College.

The meals will be served cold with reheating instructions and allergen information.

Throughout the week before Thanksgiving, The River’s curbside distribution has also provided holiday grocery essentials, including a choice of turkey, ham or chicken.

Dane County residents who cannot leave home to travel to The River may qualify for The River’s new free delivery service, called River Delivers, to receive both household groceries and meals. Registration in advance at is required for deliveries.

In addition to Thanksgiving, The River plans to distribute holiday to-go meals and groceries leading up to Christmas.

Emily Friese

27 News Producer

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