What’s the difference between a food bank and a food pantry?

A food bank is an organization that provides the warehousing and trucking to safely store and distribute large amounts of donated food. Typically, food banks provide food to food pantries and then food pantries provide food directly to clients.

Some of our food banks operate direct distribution programs, such as the Mobile Pantry Program, which helps to address rural areas that may not have traditional emergency food pantries.

How can I get food?

There are a wealth of programs throughout Wisconsin to help connect you to free emergency food and assistance to access food buying benefits and other income supports. For a comprehensive list of assistance, please call 211 or visit the webpage of the 211 call center that serves the county in which you live.

For a list of links and phone numbers, please visit our Get Help page. 

How can my organization get food from one of your food banks?

Each food bank has its own policies and procedures for taking on new partners. Please visit our food bank directory and contact the food bank that serves your county to learn more.

Do I have to pay for food?

If you are visiting one of our partner food programs, you will never have to pay for food. Our partner pantries are required to offer their food services to you 100% free of cost.

If you are an organization running a partner food program, our food banks may charge a shared maintenance fee per pound on some of the food that we offer. This fee helps our food banks defray the costs of sourcing, transporting, storing, and delivering your orders. We are continuously working on ways to keep this fee as low as possible. The  shared maintenance fee will never exceed 19 cents per pound. 

How can I get involved?


You can help support our mission by giving money directly to our food banks by visiting the donation pages on their web sites.

You can also help support our statewide mission by donating funds here. All funds will be allocated to our members based a percentage of their service area throughout the state.


We need your voice and influence on the critical issues that affect the nearly 600,000 of our friends and neighbors who come through the doors of our partner programs looking for emergency food.

You can learn more about the issues on the Hunger in Wisconsin and our Policy and Advocacy pages. To stay up to date on our latest news and advocacy actions, please sign up for our newsletter. 


Our food banks depend on people like you every day to help accomplish our mission. If you are interested in volunteering at one of our food banks, please visit our food bank directory and contact the food bank that’s in your county to learn more.

Can my anti-hunger organization, food pantry or non-Feeding america affiliated food bank join Feeding Wisconsin?

We will find ways to effectively partner with any organization in our state that is engaged in the fight to fight hunger and increase healthy food access in Wisconsin. If you are interested in joining our membership organization, please contact us to discuss further.