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.

View the new map of our red barrel locations!

We will be closed on Saturday, September 3 and Monday, September 5 for the Labor Day holiday.
Estaremos cerrados el sábado 3 de septiembre y el lunes 5 de septiembre por el feriado del Día del Trabajo.

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

SCHOOL SUPPLIES NEEDED!!! We offer school supplies to families in July and August and are now completely out of stock. Take advantage of the Illinois Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday from August 5-14 and shop at the reduced tax rate of 1.25%! Items needed: spiral notebooks, folders, notebook paper, glue sticks, liquid glue, markers, highlighters, colored pencils, crayons and pens. We are grateful for anything you can provide.

Items in Short Supply as of August 6, 2022


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

  • Soup - condensed and ready-to-eat

  • Pouches/boxes side dishes

  • 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; size 4-5 toddler pull-ups *

  • Baby wipes* *

  • Adult diapers - size S/M and Large *

  • Laundry detergent and dish soap*

  • Bleach*

  • Kleenex *

  • Shampoo & Conditioner *

  • Toothpaste and toothbrushes*

  • All-purpose cleaners *

  • Cat and dog food - dry*

*completely out of stock

> 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

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.