Caring Closet

Oakton strives to be the community's college, and part of being a community is caring for one another. That's why we have established the Caring Closet, a place where Oakton students can get essential nonperishable foods and self-care items, such as soap and toothpaste, at no cost.

Addressing Basic Needs at Oakton College, One Person at a Time

Research shows that students whose basic needs are unmet are more likely to struggle academically. A “basic needs” survey conducted at Oakton in 2018 revealed 31 percent of students reported low or very low food security. As Oakton strives to ensure that everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed, the Caring Closet was established to respond to this challenge and help students get the resources they need to focus on their education.

The Caring Closet is a collaboration between the Office of Student Life, the Center for Campus Inclusion and Diversity, the Sustainability Center and the Wellness Center. It's guided by Oakton's core values of equity, diversity, responsibility and compassion.

Picking Up Your Order

You can access the Caring Closet in Room 1430 on the Des Plaines campus and Room A164 on the Skokie campus. You can also fill out an online order form (requires login). After you fill out this form, you'll be notified when your items are available to pick up at the designated time and location. You'll need to show your Oakton ID to get your order. All information will remain private.

Restocking the Closet With Donations

You can help out your fellow students and keep the Caring Closet stocked with goods. You can find a list of requested items here (PDF) (4 MB). Donations of requested food and personal hygiene items are accepted during regular hours of operation on either campus. Bring your items to:

Des Plaines
Center for Campus Inclusion and Diversity
Room 1433
Monday - Thursday, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Friday, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Office of Student Life
Room A160
Monday - Thursday, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Friday, 10 a.m. - 12 noon

You can also support the Caring Closet financially with donations made through the Oakton Educational Foundation.

Note: While Oakton's classes are remote due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Caring Closet is operating remotely and is NOT open. For support and assistance during this time, email