Where to Donate Food Items in Lake County 2017

Holidays can be hard when you don’t have food to put on the table, and there are many families in Lake County alone who could use some help.

We have created a list of places located within the Lake County area where you can donate food items to those in need this season and year-round.

Where to donate food in lake county

According to the Northern Illinois Food Bank generally the most needed items are:

  • cereal (whole grain preferred)
  • canned chicken and tuna
  • peanut butter
  • pasta (whole grain preferred)
  • rice
  • dried beans
  • canned fruits in juice
  • canned vegetables
  • reduced sodium soup
  • pasta sauce

No glass containers please.

Northern Illinois Food Bank
Our vision is for no one to be hungry in northern Illinois — and we need your help now to make that vision a reality. Every $1 you give helps provide $8 worth of nutritious groceries, donate online.

Open Arms Mission
As a holistic community organization, our mission is to provide daily living necessities while encouraging self-sufficiency for individuals and families in need. Our commitment is to build a healthy community – one neighbor at a time. Located in Antioch, you can purchase a holiday meal for $25 or adopt a family for the holidays, they anticipate needing to purchase gifts for 600 children. Contact them at (847) 395-0309 or info@openarmsmission.org for information about where and when to donate.

COOL Ministries
COOL Food Pantries are seeing a rise in the number of families served each month. Due to high unemployment rates and a difficult economy, COOL needs your help more than ever to provide meals to hundreds of Lake County families this year. COOL operates pantries in Waukegan (123 W. Water St.) and Ingleside (25519 W. Highway 134).   If you are interested in making a monetary donation to help purchase food please contact Gayle Olson, Pantry Operations Manager at (847) 662-1230.

Warren Township Food Pantry
17801 W. Washington, Gurnee
Donations are welcomed at the Town Hall from 8:00 a.m. through 4:00 p.m, Monday through Friday. Donations of all non-perishable food items are needed. They currently have an overabundance of canned beans, but are completely out of spaghetti sauce, pancake mix, instant potatoes canned ravioli/spaghetti and paper towels. Contact Stephanie Smuda, Food Pantry Coordinator at (847) 244-1101 ext.101 with questions.

Photo Source: COOL Ministries on Facebook

Shields Township Food Pantry
906 W. Muir Ave., Lake Bluff
In addition to donations by cash or check, the Shields Township Food Pantry needs the non-perishable foods in cans and boxes; the pantry is also very grateful to receive donations of fresh produce, cooking oil, herbs and spices, salt, and sugar. There is a specific list of needs on the website as well.  For more information about the pantry and/or how, where, and when to donate, please call (847) 234-0802.

The Salvation Army-Waukegan 
850 S. Green Bay Rd., Waukegan
In addition to a food pantry the Salvation Army also operates a Paper Pantry that offers free toiletries and other items not available at regular food pantries.  Call (847) 336-1880 to find out when and where you can donate items and what their current need is.

Moraine Township Food Pantry
777 Central, Highland Park
The public is welcome to donate non-expired food, and to volunteer their services. For ideas on what to donate, see our Shopping List. For more information, call (847) 432-3240.

Libertyville Township Food Pantry
359 Merrill Court, Libertyville
Donations of non-perishable foods are always appreciated. We request that you schedule ahead with the township if your organization is planning a food collection so we can coordinate pickup by township personnel. Monetary tax-deductible donations (payable to the Libertyville Township Food Pantry) are used to purchase food through our partnership with the Northern Illinois Food Bank at greatly reduced prices. View the Food Pantry Needs. Call (847) 816-6800 for more information.

Lake Villa Township Food Pantry
37908 N. Fairfield Rd, Lake Villa
Donations of frozen turkeys or hams, fruits and vegetables are greatly appreciated and accepted during the holiday season.  Canned goods, cereal and boxed food items along with paper and plastic bags for the food pantry are welcome year round. We gladly accept paper and plastic grocery bags for use in the food pantry and distribution of food orders. For more information, contact the supervisors office at (847) 356-2116 .

Photo Source: Fremont Township Facebook page

Catholic Charities – Lake County Region
One of the Catholic Charities primary ministries is running food pantries throughout the Chicagoland area. We depend on your generous food contributions of canned meat, dry goods, cereal, juice boxes, vegetables, and canned goods. Please contact Laurel at (847) 782-4000 to learn about how you can help turn hunger into hope with a drive in your community.

Cuba Township Food Pantry
28000 W. Cuba Road, Barrington
As the pantry exists solely on donations, we are always happy to accept donations of non-perishable, non-expired food items.  Please see our wish list for needed items.  The pantry is happy to welcome individuals or groups in to sort and shelve food in the pantry.  Please contact the Cuba Township Community Liaisons Anna Hummel or Jennifer Kainz at (847) 381-1924, for questions regarding the Food Pantry.

Fremont Township Food Pantry
22385 W. Illinois Route 60, Mundelein
We accept donations of non-perishable food items, paper products, cleaning supplies, toiletries, grocery store gift cards, and cash. Contact Nancy Lech at (847) 223-2847 for more information.

Vernon Township Food Pantry
3050 N. Main St., Buffalo Grove
Accepts donations Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Please see the Food Pantry Flyer for the most needed items, if you have any questions please call (847) 634-4600.

West Deerfield Township Food Pantry
601 Deerfield Rd., Deerfield
A plumbing devastation led the township to create a brand new and improved Food Pantry. It is ready to serve those in need in the basement of the Township Office Building at 601 Deerfield Road. The West Deerfield Township Food Pantry is made possible by donations from our community. If you make a cash donation, it will go to providing gift cards to local grocery stores. Donations of non-perishable food items, cleaning and personal care products are welcome. Food stamps may not be used on cleaning, personal care, or paper products, so these items are especially appreciated. 

Lake County Church Food Pantries

The following Churches have food banks and collect items year round, please contact them for updated hours and needs.

  • Community Care Center, The Chapel of Lake County, 25270 W. Highway 60, Grayslake
    Open Wednesdays through Saturdays from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.. Donations of food, clothes or personal care items can be done anytime during open hours. For more information visit their Facebook page or contact Jen Moran at jmoran@chapel.org
  • Lord of Glory, 607 W. Belvidere Rd., Grayslake
    Please call (847) 548-5673 to make arrangements to donate.
  • Shepherd of the Lakes, Grayslake
    Please call (847) 223-4111 to make arrangements to donate.
  • Zion Bible Church, Zion
    Please call (847) 872-3542 to make arrangements to donate.
  • Waukegan Baptist Bible Church, 1500 Sunset Ave, Waukegan
    Please call (847) 336-8260 to make arrangements to donate.
  • St. Bede, 36455 N. Wilson Rd., Ingelside
    St. Vincent De Paul at St. Bede food pantry, please call (847) 587-2251 to make arrangements to donate.
  • St. Patrick Catholic Church, 15000 W. Wadsworth Rd., Wadsworth
    Please call (847) 244-4161 to make arrangements to donate.
  • St. Joseph’s Church, 112 N. Milwaukee Ave., Libertyville
    Please call (847) 362-2073 to make arrangements to donate.
  • St. James Church, 134 North Ave., Highwood
    Please call (847) 433-1484 to contribute.
  • St. Anastasia, 624 Douglas Avenue, Waukegan
    Please call (847) 623-2875 ext.254 to make arrangements to donate.
  • St. Francis, 135 S. Buesching Rd., Lake Zurich
    St. Vincent De Paul food pantry, please call (847) 438-6622 to make arrangements to donate.
  • Shiloh Babptist Church, 800 S. Genesee St., Waukegan
    Please call (847) 662-6325 to make arrangements to donate.
  • North Point Church, 900 N. Lewis Ave., Winthrop Harbor
    Please call (847) 746-5522 to make arrangements to donate.
  • Santa Maria Del Popolo, 116 N. Lake Street, Mundelein
    St. Vincent De Paul society food pantry,  please call (847) 949-8300 to make arrangements to donate.
  • North Shore Church of Christ, 326 Julian Street, Waukegan
    North Shore Church of Christ operates a soup kitchen and food pantry, call (847) 623-9727 to make arrangements to donate.
  • Mt. Moriah Christian, 523 10th Street, North Chicago
    Please call (847) 473-5683 to make arrangements to donate.
  • Holy Family, 912 8th Street, Waukegan
    Please call (847) 623-2112 to make arrangements to donate.
  • Greater Faith Church, 565 Powell Ave., Waukegan
    Please call (847) 244-4400 to make arrangements to donate.
  • First United Methodist, 128 N. Luther King Jr. Ave., Waukegan
    First United Methodist operates a soup kitchen and food pantry. Call (847) 623-2433 to make arrangements to donate.
  • First Presbyterian Church, 219 W. Maple Ave., Libertyville
    Please call (847) 362-2174 to make arrangements to donate.
  • Community Christian Church, 1400 Yorkhouse Rd, Waukegan
    Please call (847) 662-8887 to make arrangements to donate.
  • Church of the Holy Spirit, 400 E. Westminster Rd., Lake Forest
    Please call (847) 234-7633 to make arrangements to donate.
  • Church of Joy, 1312 27th St., Zion
    Please call (847) 731-2117 ext.15 to make arrangements to donate.
  • Christian Faith Fellowship, 17330 E. Washington St., Waukegan
    Please call (847) 244-2332 to make arrangements to donate.

If you can think of any other places that help our community that aren’t listed, please share in the comments.

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Kari loves to write and take photos, not necessarily in that order. Her journey started in 2010 when she sat down to write a few words on a private blog. She pressed “public” a few weeks later and the rest is history. Kari loves making people laugh, being real, and spending time with her husband and two daughters. She also really loves her dog Buddy and fish Lucy. When she is not busy writing or going through the Starbucks drive thru, you can find her talking to her plants Zoe, Evie and Albert. She didn’t name Evie. Her nine year old did. But she's totally an Edna so that’s what Kari calls her when her nine year old isn’t home.


  1. You can also donate food items and other things to the Avon Township Food Pantry at 433 E Washington St. Round Lake Park, IL 60073. Phone 1-847-546-1446. There may also be churches in the communities of the Round Lake area that take donations.

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