We accept donations of non-perishable food items, fresh produce, in-season clothing, shoes, personal and paper products. 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, clothing, 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.

By Mail

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

Items We Always Need

Non-Perishable Food

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

  • Ensure, Glucerna, Boost (for our clients with health issues)
  • breakfast cereal, oatmeal, boxes of instant oatmeal packets
  • canned meat and fish (Spam, ham, chicken, tuna, salmon, etc.)
  • canned vegetables and beans
  • canned fruit
  • dry pasta
  • pasta sauce
  • dry beans
  • dry rice
  • instant mashed potatoes
  • stuffing mix
  • juice
  • coffee, tea, hot cocoa
  • powdered or canned milk
  • flour
  • sugar
  • pancake mix
  • pancake syrup
  • condiments
  • baked beans
  • snack crackers
  • peanut butter
  • jelly/jam
  • saltines

Fresh Produce - any

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

Paper Items and Toiletries

  • toilet paper
  • full-size toothpaste
  • toothbrushes
  • full-size bars of soap
  • full-size bottles of shampoo and conditioner


WE ARE ACCEPTING WINTER COATS AND CLOTHING FOR THIS SEASON. We desperately need winter gloves for adults and children - especially for men who work outdoors.

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


  • laundry detergent
  • dish washing soap
  • sheets, blankets (mark sizes)
  • new bed pillows
  • towels
  • postage stamps
  • puzzles
  • DVDs

Items We Cannot Accept

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