The Self-Help Closet & Pantry of Des Plaines is a 501 (c) - 3 not-for-profit organization. We are accepting PayPal donations to help supplement the purchase of groceries for our clients. Please click here or the yellow button to use our secure PayPal account to make your donation. If you are donating in someone's honor or memory, to the Community Backpack Project, please note in the comment section. If you would like to offset the PayPal fee to the Pantry, please add 2.2% plus 30 cents to the amount.

Drop-Off Donation Hours

Monday 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Tuesday 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Saturday 8:30 - 10:00 a.m.

Donations must be delivered inside the Pantry during drop-off hours. Items left outside our door will be disposed of as they attract neighborhood wildlife. Please pull in to the parking lot and around to the side door on the north side closest to Holiday Lane. Let a volunteer know you are there, and they will assist you.

We also gratefully accept cash, checks, postage stamps, and gift cards. All contributions are tax-deductible in accordance with the law. A receipt is provided upon request, and we will send you a thank-you if you sign in at the Pantry with your name, address or email address. We do not share your information with any other agency nor do we mail out requests for money.

Red Barrels

Look for our red barrels located in businesses, stores, block parties, etc. around town and drop your non-perishable food items there. Contact us at 847-375-1443 or email if you would like one for your event. Click on locations in the map below for exact locations of the red barrels!

By Mail

Mail checks payable to the Self-Help Closet & Pantry of Des Plaines (or SHC&P) to 769 Holiday Lane, Des Plaines, IL 60016. Cash donations enable us to buy perishable groceries such as meat, cheese, butter and milk.

Suggested Items We Accept

Please click on the Home tab for the list of most needed items at this time. If you are donating food items specifically for the Community Backpack Project, please write "CBP' on a slip of paper and include it in the donation bag.

Food and Personal Items

  • Canned entrees: chili, Chef Boyardee, etc.

  • Soup: canned, ramen, mixes

  • Canned vegetables, corn, beans, baked beans, tomatoes

  • Canned tuna, salmon, chicken

  • Rice, barley, dried peas and beans, couscous

  • Pasta: macaroni & cheese, boxes, bags, ramen

  • Black tea

  • Pancake mix, syrup

  • Breakfast cereals

  • Side dishes in boxes and pouches

  • Pasta sauce: 24 oz. jars

  • Vinegar: white, apple cider, balsamic

  • Peanut butter (16-18 ounce jars)

  • Jelly or jam

  • Juice

  • Oil: vegetable, olive, etc.

  • Salt, pepper

  • Sugar

  • Flour

  • Cake mix and frosting

  • Full-size condiments: ketchup, mustard, mayo, salad dressing, etc.

  • Fresh produce (accepted only at the Pantry - please don't place in red barrels)

  • Ensure and Meal shakes for people with diabetes (Glucerna or generic)

  • Dog and cat food (wet and dry)

  • Laundry detergent, dish soap, bleach

  • Shampoo, conditioner, body wash, bar soap

  • Deodorant

  • Shavers, shaving cream

  • Household cleaners: all-purpose, bathroom, wipes

  • Postage stamps (for writing thank you letters)

  • Adult diapers men's & women's (small, med, large)


At this time, we can only accept clean fall/winter clothing and shoes in very good condition.

  • In-season clothing in very good condition for men, women and children

  • 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 long-sleeve-sleeve shirts and t-shirts

  • Men's jeans and sweatpants and NEW underwear

  • Gym shoes

  • Bed linens (marked with sizes, please) and towels

Items We Cannot Accept

  • expired or opened food

  • restaurant condiment packets

  • housewares (please donate to Goodwill, Salvation Army, etc.)

  • video tapes

  • furniture

  • men's suits

  • baby/toddler car seats

  • baby furniture

  • toys

  • stuffed animals

  • medications, supplements, vitamins

  • alcoholic beverages