Where to Donate Food Items in Lake County

The holiday season can be especially difficult for families struggling to make ends meet, and there are plenty of families in our area who could use help, especially with putting dinner on the table. A new study by Northern Illinois Food Bank and Feeding America shows that nearly 600,000 people in northern Illinois turn to food pantries and meal programs to feed themselves and their families. *

Myriad places across Lake County aim to help get food into the homes of those who need it. Anyone can help by donating food. We’e compiled a list of food banks, events and organizations that are seeking to meet the food needs of people around the county. Before donating, please consider what’s most needed.

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

  • Cereal (whole grain preferred)
  • Canned chicken and tuna
  • peanut butter
  • pasta (whole grain preferred)
  • rice
  • dired beans
  • canned fruits in juice
  • canned vegetable
  • reducded soaium soup
  • pasta sauce

No glass containers please.

Where to donate food in lake county


December 13 10:00 a.m.  Christmas Movie
Liberty 1&2 Theaters, 708 N. Milwukee Ave., Libertyville
This year the Liberty 1 & 2 Theaters continue our annual Christmas canned food drive. They will be showing How the Grinch Stole Christmas, as usual, admission is one canned good per person for the local food pantry. Contact the theater at 847-362-3011 for more information.

December 13 3:00 p.m. Santa’s Pasta Dinner
LakeFront Park, 71 Nippersink Boulverad, Fox Lake
Come for our great Pasta Dinner … and visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Bring in a non-perishable food item to donate to Grant Township’s Food Panty and receive a free raffle ticket.

Lake County Food Pantries

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 [email protected] for information on where and when to donate.

COOL Minsistries
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 Ingelside (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 9–5, Monday–Friday. Donations of all non-perishable food items are needed. Right now we are low on pasta, cereal, spaghetti sauce, all paper products. Contact Stephanie Smuda, Food Pantry Coordinator at 847-244-1101 x101 with questions.

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 very grateful to receive donations of fresh produce, cooking oil, herbs and spices, salt, and sugar. Just drop them off at the Township Office. We’ll be happy to provide you with a receipt for your taxes. For more information about the pantry and/or how, where, and when to donate, please call 847-234-0802.

Salvation Army – Waukegan
850 S. Green Bay Rd., Waukegan
In addition to a food pantry the Salvation Arm also operates a Paper Pantry that offers free toiletries and other items not available at regular food pantries.  Contact them at 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 contact them at 847-432-3240.

Libertyville Township Food Pantry
359 Merril Court, Libertyville
Donations of nonperishable 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. Contact them at 847-816-6800 for more information.

Lake Villa Township Food Pantry37908 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 .

Grant Township Food Pantry
26725 W. Molidor Rd., Ingelside
Accepting non-perishable food items, contact them at 847-740-2233 for drop off hours. See list of current pantry needs.

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.

Antioch Township Food Pantry
1625 Deep Lake Rd., Lake Villa
Donations to the food pantry are always appreciated. Currently, there is a need for canned meat, canned tuna, and peanut butter. Personal supplies, such as soap, shampoo, and toothpaste and toothbrushes are also welcome. Contact the township at 847-395-3378 for information on drop-off hours.

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, Cheryl Tanaka or Kate Formichella 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 donationsMonday through Friday 9:00a.m. to 3:30p.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
Cash donations go directly to providing gift cards to local grocery stores so that our clients are empowered to buy fresh produce, dairy or meat items. Occasionally we purchase food items bought in bulk for distribution, and we accept donations of non-perishable food items, and cleaning and personal care products. Contact them at 847-945-0614 for donation drop-off and current needs.

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 – Saturdays 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.. Donations of food, clothes or personal care items can be done anytme during open hours. For more information visit their Facebook page or contact Jen Moran at [email protected]
  • Lord of Glory, 607 W. Belvidere Rd., Grayslake
    Please contact them at 847-548-5673 to make arrangements to donate.
  • Sheperd of the Lakes, Grayslake
    Please contact them at 847-223-4111 to make arrangements to donate.
  • Zion Bible Church, Zion
    Please Contact them at 847-872-3542 to make arrangements to donate.
  • Waukegan Baptist Bible Church, 1500 Sunset Ave, Waukegan
    Please contact them at 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 contact them at 847-587-2251 to make arrangements to donate.
  • St. Patrick Catholic Church, 15000 W. Wadsworth Rd., Wadsworth
    Please contact them at 847–244-4161 to make arrangements to donate.
  • St. Joseph’s Church, 112 N. Milwaukee Ave., Libertyville
    Please contact them at 847-362-2073 to make arrangements to donate.
  • St. James Church, 134 North Ave., Highwood
    Please contact them at 847-433-1484
  • St. Anastasia, 624 Douglas Avenue, Waukegan
    Please contact them at 847-623-2875 x254 to make arrangements to donate.
  • St. Francis, 135 S. Buesching Rd., Lake Zurich
    St. Vincent De Paul food pantry, please contact them at 847-438-6622 to make arrangements to donate.
  • Shiloh Babptist Church, 800 S. Genesee St., Waukegan
    Please contact them at 847-662-6325 to make arrangements to donate.
  • North Point Church, 900 N. Lewis Ave., Winthrop Harbor
    Please contact them at 847-746-5522 to make arrangements to donate.
  • Santa Mria Del Popolo, 116 N. Lake Street, Mundelein
    St. Vincent De Paul society food pantry,  please contact them at 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, contact them at 847-623-9727 to make arrangements to donate.
  • Mt. Moriah Christian, 523 10th Street, North Chicago
    Please contact them at 847-473-5683 to make arrangements to donate.
  • Holy Family, 912 8th Street, Waukegan
    Please contact them at 847-623-2112 to make arrangements to donate.
  • Greater Faith Church, 565 Powell Ave., Waukegan
    Please contact them at 847-244-4400 to make arrangements to donate.
  • First United Methodist, 128 N. Lutherr King Jr. Ave., Waukegan
    First United Methodist operates a soup kitchen and food pantry. Contact them at 847-6233-2433 to make arrangements to donate.
  • First Presbyterian Church, 219 W. Maple Ave., Libertyville
    Please contact them at 847-362-2174 to make arrangements to donate.
  • Community Christian Church, 1400 Yorkhouse Rd, Waukegan
    Please contact them at 847-662-8887 to make arrangements to donate.
  • Church of the Holy Spirit, 400 E. Westminster Rd., Lake Forest
    Please contact them at 847-234-7633 to make arrangements to donate.
  • Church of Joy, 1312 27th St., Zion
    Please contact them at 847-731-2117 x15 to make arrangements to donate.
  • Christian Faith Fellowship, 17330 E. Washington St., Waukegan
    Please contact them at 847-244-233332 to make arrangements to donate.




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About Melissa Haak 848 Articles
Melissa is mom to 4. She used to dream of traveling the world, now she dreams of a clean kitchen. She can be found on most social media sites as @PBinmyHair because with this much hair and four kids, you're bound to find something in it.

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