Hunger Knows No Season

Self Help Closet & Pantry of Des Plaines

Serving our community since 1971

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

Location and Hours

600 E. Algonquin Rd., 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.

CLOSED - Sat. July 4, 2020.

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 only during the hours above, or drop non-perishables in our Red Barrels around town.

Announcements for Operations During the Time of COVID-19

Week of June 21, 2020 We will be closed July 4.

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

  • We are only distributing food.
  • DRIVE UP SERVICE. - Please park in the church parking lot across the street. You will be given a number. A volunteer will direct you to our little parking lot when it is your turn. A volunteer will ask for your name and address and will go inside to retrieve your food. You WILL NOT leave your car.
  • The clothing closet is closed. We will not distribute clothing.
  • We are not accepting donations of clothing, coats, 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, but 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 June 24, 2020

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

  • 16 oz. jars of peanut butter
  • CONDENSED SOUPS (like Campbell's)
  • Canned ready-to-serve soup (Progresso, Campbell's Chunky, etc.)
  • Canned main dishes (Chef Boyardee, beef stew, chili, hash, etc.)
  • Canned frosting (for birthday bags for children)
  • Canned vegetables, corn and fruit
  • Large cans of baked beans
  • 16 oz. cans of miscellaneous beans
  • Pasta sauce in cans or jars
  • Pancake or biscuit mix
  • Flour, sugar, salt, pepper
  • Instant or ground coffee
  • Instant pudding or gelatin dessert mixes
  • Meal shakes for people with diabetes (Glucerna or generic)
  • Full size toothpaste, toothbrushes, full size deodorant and full size shampoo
  • Postage stamps


Watch this video 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 & Oakton and other busy intersections. The Self-Help Closet and Pantry of Des Plaines is NOT related to that group. The last such group was from the Joliet area.

Our volunteers will never be standing on street corners soliciting donations.

Our Future Home

The City of Des Plaines has partnered with the Self-Help Closet & Pantry of Des Plaines to move the Pantry to a location more suitable for the expansion of current services. Realizing the need for more space, the City purchased the former Stadium Sports Club and Pizza, located at 769 Holiday Lane in Des Plaines, and will lease the building to the Pantry. As part of the partnership, the Pantry will contribute towards the cost of remodeling and repairs. Once the new space is ready for occupancy, the City will sell the 600 E. Algonquin Rd. building to offset the cost of the new location. The move will double the space, making it no longer necessary to rent a self-storage unit to accommodate generous community donations throughout the year. On-site parking will be plentiful and accessible. The new space will allow for interested groups as well as individual volunteers to help out with the day-to-day Pantry operation. We hope to make the move by October 2020. Please contact us at if you or your organization is interested in supporting the move in any way you can!