We are accepting PayPal donations to help supplement the purchase of groceries for our clients. Please click here or the button at right to use our secure PayPal account to make your donation.


AT THIS TIME - MAY 16, 2020, WE ARE ONLY ACCEPTING donations of non-perishable food items, fresh produce, personal and paper products. DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC, PLEASE HOLD OFF ON YOUR DONATIONS OF CLOTHING UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.

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 and what you donated - food, paper goods, etc. We do not share your information with any other agency nor do we mail out requests for money.

Drop Off Hours

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

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

Saturday 9:00 - 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.

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. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic most of our red barrel sites are closed, so donations must be brought to the pantry during donation hours. Thank you for understanding.

By Mail

Mail checks payable to the Self-Help Closet & Pantry of Des Plaines (or just SHC&P ) to 600 E. Algonquin Rd., Des Plaines, IL 60016. Cash donations enable us to buy perishable groceries such as meat, cheese, butter and milk.

MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND - Pantry will be open Sat. (hours above). We will be closed for donations on Monday, May 25. We will be open regular hours on Tues. May 26.

Items We Always Need

Non-Perishable Food (We are in serious need of those in bold type.)

We cannot accept food items that are expired. Please check dates before donating!

  • oatmeal, boxes of instant oatmeal packets
  • canned meat and fish (Spam, ham, chicken, tuna, salmon, etc.)
  • boxed side dishes
  • canned main dishes
  • Jell-O and pudding mixes
  • pancake mix
  • dry pasta
  • pasta sauce
  • soups (chicken noodle, chunky style, etc.)
  • dry beans
  • instant mashed potatoes
  • stuffing mix
  • juice
  • coffee, tea, hot cocoa
  • powdered or canned milk
  • flour
  • sugar
  • pancake syrup
  • condiments, (especially ketchup)
  • baked beans
  • snack crackers
  • peanut butter
  • jelly/jam
  • saltines
  • rice

Fresh Produce - any

  • apples
  • oranges
  • bananas
  • potatoes
  • onions
  • squash
  • lettuce
  • tomatoes
  • herbs
  • home-grown vegetables in the summer

Paper Items and Toiletries

  • toilet paper
  • feminine hygiene pads (incont. and reg.)
  • full-size toothpaste
  • toothbrushes
  • full-size bars of soap
  • deodorant
  • full-size bottles of shampoo and conditioner


  • laundry detergent
  • dish washing soap
  • postage stamps


WE ARE NOT ACCEPTING CLOTHING AT THIS TIME DUE TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC. (Please refer to the info below WHEN we reopen our clothing department.)

Due to space limitations, we can only accept clothing that is in the current season. Clothing must be clean and in very good condition. We especially need:

  • 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 shirts and t-shirts
  • men's jeans

Items We Cannot Accept

  • expired food
  • restaurant condiment packets
  • video tapes
  • furniture
  • men's suits
  • baby/toddler car seats
  • baby furniture
  • toys
  • stuffed animals
  • housewares (please donate to the Goodwill, Salvation Army, etc.)
  • alcoholic beverages