Hunger Knows No Season

Self Help Closet & Pantry of Des Plaines

Serving our community since 1971

We are an independent, 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit organization serving Des Plaines, Illinois residents with groceries and clothing during a time of need.

New Location, Same Hours!

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 and Saturdays 9:00 - 10:00 a.m.

See larger map on New Location tab.


Our new address is 769 Holiday Lane, Des Plaines. It is about 2 miles west of the old location - 1 block north of Algonquin Rd. on Elmhurst Rd. - directly behind the grey auto repair shop. Right now, we are open for food donations and DRIVE-UP SERVICE for FOOD only.

WE ARE ACCEPTING DONATIONS OF WINTER COATS. THEY MUST BE CLEAN, WITH WORKING ZIPPERS. We are not accepting other clothing donations at this time while we are getting settled. Thank you for your understanding.

Note about donations: Please do not leave donations outside the door as they attract squirrels, possums, raccoons, etc., and we must dispose of the items. Drop off donations at the grey door facing the street. KNOCK LOUDLY ON THE DOOR and wait for the volunteer during the hours above, or drop non-perishables in our Red Barrels around town.

Announcements for Operations During the Time of COVID-19

The Pantry is OPEN for clients and for donors until further notice. To streamline our operations at this time:

  • We are only distributing food.



  • The clothing closet is closed due to COVID-19. We will not distribute clothing.

  • We are not accepting donations of clothing or housewares at this time.

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

We appreciate your patience as we work with a smaller volunteer staff and as we make further adjustments. 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, check or gift cards to grocery stores are appreciated.

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

Other Meal Distributions for People in Need

Visit the Maine Township High School District 207 website for information on free meals for the community.

Donation Needs as of JANUARY 20, 2021

We are only accepting donations of non-perishable food items, fresh produce, personal and paper products due to the coronavirus pandemic. The following items in BOLD TYPE are in very short supply:

  • Canola oil

  • Ground coffee

  • Cans of baked beans (16 oz cans)

  • Spaghetti sauce

  • Boxed sides (mashed potatoes, stuffing, etc)

  • Pancake mix

  • Jell-O or Instant pudding

  • Sugar

  • Old-fashioned oatmeal

  • Ramen

  • Cat food

  • Dog food

  • Laundry detergent and dish detergent

  • Condensed soup (Campbell's, etc.)

  • Canned ready-to-serve soup (Progresso, Campbell's Chunky, etc.)

  • Canned frosting (for birthday bags for children)

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

  • Postage stamps


Watch this video (filmed in our old location) to learn all about the Self Help Closet & Pantry of Des Plaines. It was produced by the City of Des Plaines to educate residents about this remarkable place in our community.

Food Pantry solicitors on corner - NOT US

Occasionally you will see people wearing FOOD PANTRY vests soliciting donations from drivers at Lee and Oakton and other busy intersections. The Self-Help Closet and Pantry of Des Plaines is NOT related to these groups who are from towns that don't serve our citizens. Our volunteers will NEVER be standing on street corners soliciting donations.