Hunger Knows No Season

Self Help Closet & Pantry of Des Plaines

Serving our community since 1971

We are an independent, 501(c)(3) charitable organization serving Des Plaines, Illinois residents with groceries and clothing during a time of need.

769 Holiday Lane, Des Plaines, IL 60016

Client hours: Tuesdays 12:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. and Saturdays 10:00 a.m. - Noon

Registration hours: Same as Client hours above, but we ask that you come at least an hour before the closing time.

Donation drop-off hours: Mondays and Tuesdays 9:00 - Noon; Saturdays 8:30 - 10:00 a.m. at grey door facing Holiday Lane.

See larger map on New Location tab.

The Pantry will be closed on Saturday, July 2 and Monday, July 4 in observance of the Independence Day holiday.

Des Plaines Self Help Closet and Pantry 50th Anniversary (720).mp4

Self-Help Closet & Pantry of Des Plaines 50th Anniversary

This film by Wendy Ellis and Paul Meincke tells the story of the early beginnings of the Pantry and how it evolved into an independent organization - all the while maintaining the early founders' mission to help neighbors in need.

Announcements for Operations During the Time of COVID-19

The Pantry is OPEN for clients and for donors INSIDE the building. To streamline our operations:

  • Masks are required; we have some available at the check-in desk. If you choose not to wear a mask, park your vehicle at the curb in front of the Pantry and call us to request curbside service for food only. Your turn in line begins after you are checked in.

  • If you are a new client, remember to bring a photo ID for each adult, proof of income and children's birth certificates.

  • Only 1 adult per family will come in the building to shop. We CANNOT accomodate children inside. Please be sure children are under the care of a responsible adult.

  • Clients and volunteers must stay home if they are not feeling well.

Please know that we are doing our best to help our neighbors in need during this challenging time.


Donations of food are always appreciated, and monetary donations will allow us more flexibility at this time.

  • Please send only one representative if possible.

  • Please come during drop-off hours only.

  • If dropping off monetary donations, cash, checks, stamps or gift cards to grocery stores are appreciated.

  • We are accepting donations of Summer clothing.. THEY MUST BE CLEAN AND IN LIKE-NEW CONDITION. We are also accepting new UNDERWEAR and SOCKS for the whole family. We really need gym shoes in all sizes.

  • We desperately need bed linens (marked with size) and freshly laundered towels.

Visit the Donations page for more details and to donate using our secure PayPal account.

Other Local Pantries for People in Need

Items in Short Supply as of June 24, 2022

*** indicates we are completely out of this item. BOLD type means we are very low in stock.


  • Sliced bread (please bring directly to Pantry)

  • Vegetarian items: soup/meal items in cans, pouches, etc.

  • Breakfast cereal

  • Pancake mix and syrup

  • Pasta sauce in jars

  • Shelf-stable milk

  • Mayonnaise

  • Vinegar

  • Ketchup***

  • Cooking oil ***

  • Flour***

  • Ensure or generic

  • Glucerna or generic

  • Salt & Pepper


  • New underwear: men's (all sizes), women's (5-9), children's (all sizes), toddler's (3-5)

  • New socks: especially men's white athletic

  • Men's collared sleeve shirts and t-shirts

  • Men's jeans and sweatpants and NEW underwear

  • Men's belts

  • Gym shoes

  • Women's maxi pads ***

  • Deodorant ***

  • Baby diapers - only sizes 5 & 6 *** at this time --- also Size 4-5 toddler pull-ups


  • Adult diapers - size S/M only needed at this time

  • Laundry detergent *** and dish soap***

  • Bleach***

  • Kleenex

  • Shampoo*** & Conditioner ***

  • Toothpaste *** and toothbrushes***

  • All-purpose cleaners ***

  • Cat and dog food - dry***

> See the full list of donations we accept..on the Donations tab.

Note about donations: Please do not leave donations outside the door as they attract neighborhood wildlife, and we must dispose of the items. Drop off donations at the grey door facing the street. Knock on the door and wait for a volunteer to assist during the hours above. Or drop non-perishables in our Red Barrels around town. Please - NO EXPIRED FOOD