News & Events

Each year, the Pantry benefits from fundraisers and food drives held by service organizations, local businesses, school districts and individuals in the community. Following are some of the annual events:

Thank you to all of our supporters - we couldn't do this without you!

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

The Story of the Self-Help Closet & Pantry of Des Plaines

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.

About the Pantry

Part of the Des Plaines Chamber of Commerce & Industry "Please Stop Here" series by Ian Ryan Interactive

Our New Location

The City of Des Plaines visited the new location at 769 Holiday Lane.

Part of the Community

Featured on WTTW Chicago Tonight "In Your Neighborhood Series"

Directly from the Director

Spring 2024

Is your organization looking for a group volunteer opportunity?

The annual National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) food drive takes place across the country on Saturday, May 11, 2024. It's a competition among NALC branches to collect the most food by weight. Once again, our Pantry is fortunate to have partnered with the local NALC branch 2076 as we have for several years.

Des Plaines residents are encouraged to leave a bag of nonperishable food near their mailbox (front door/front porch) on May 11. A letter carrier or community volunteer will pick up the bags block-by-block and transport them to the dock at the Des Plaines Post Office at 1000 E. Oakton St. where all the bags are weighed.

It's a long, busy day for sure, and volunteer help is needed to make this community food drive a success. Our regular Pantry volunteers will be receiving and sorting food at our location throughout the day. We need more volunteers to drive around the Des Plaines neighborhoods and pick up food donation bags from front porches and deliver them to the Post Office. We also need more volunteers to pick up the packed boxes of food from the Post Office and drive them to the Pantry.

If you would like to take part, please contact me at 847-337-1443 or email

Thank you to this caring community!

Debra Walusiak, Executive Director

two people from Rivers Casino holding grocery bags full of donations

Thanks to Rivers Casino in Des Plaines for their support of the Pantry!

An annual tradition! Run or walk on Thanksgiving morning to support the Pantry. 8am check-in; 9am start at Beacon Tap