Extra candy can come in handy!


Sophia Ho

CANDY FOR ALL: If you’re not sure what to do with your candy, always remember that our veterans and soldiers enjoy candy too!

Lucy Kim, Junk Editor

After the thrill of dressing up in fun costumes and walking around the neighborhood with your friends in the dark fades and you finish trading all of your Almond Joys away, you’re left with a bag full of candy—and you know very well you won’t be finishing all of it. As a means of welcoming the various upcoming holidays with a heart of gold, why not give back to the community? Here are some ways to donate your leftover candy this Halloween.

Buy-back programs

Trade in your leftover Halloween candy for some extra cash, coupons or the most exciting of all–toothbrushes! Buy-back programs for Halloween candy lift the burden of excess candy off of families by collecting them at scheduled events, usually held at dental offices.

The businesses work with non-profit organizations such as Move America Forward and Operation Shoebox to ship the candy to various recipients, the most common being U.S. troops and veterans. Businesses can also promote themselves (and the importance of dental hygiene) while supporting a good cause.

The national Halloween Candy Buy Back program recommends businesses to ship the candy to organizations as soon as they can, usually by Nov. 15 in order for the candy to be packed in holiday packages for troops.

However, they accept candy year round and encourage kids to write letters and messages to the troops that will be put into the packages. You can visit Dentistry 4 Kids & Orthodontics, located at 14370 Culver Drive, if you’re looking to trade in your candy this Halloween.

Operation Shoebox

Missed post-Halloween? Don’t worry, you can still ship your candy to a good cause through Operation Shoebox. Founded by military mom Mary Harper in 2003, Operation Shoebox lends a hand to both veterans and soldiers, including those deployed overseas and returning home. Whether that looks like packing care packages or organizing fundraisers, it opens a way for any civilian to show gratitude to our soldiers, including candy!

Based in Florida, the organization sends 350-400 care packages a week, which amounted to 114 tons of supplies shipped to members of the U.S. military around the globe in 2012.

Operation Shoebox accepts candy 365 days a year, since they send a bag of candy with every care package they make.

To donate your leftover Halloween candy, you can ship directly to their headquarters at 8360 East Highway 25, Belleview, FL 34420.

Move America Forward

Move America Forward is another organization that works with buy-back programs to collect candy for our troops. Starting with the first candy donation from Surfside Dental in 2013, they have been accepting candy nationwide, anytime, to meet the care package requests they receive daily.

All people (but especially dentists) can participate in two ways—buy-back programs or Sweet Swap events. In Sweet Swap events, kids trade in their Halloween candy for healthy treats and other prizes instead of money. This is a great way to promote healthy eating habits and dental hygiene—and you don’t even have to be a dentist to participate!

You can organize a candy donation event yourself and ship the collected candy to their address at “Halloween Candy Buy Back,” 3105 Fite Circle Suite 108, Sacramento, CA 95827. No registration is required, but you do have to include your contact information.

You can ask local service organizations such as the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars and Rotary International for aid with shipping costs. For donations that are larger than one pallet, you can contact MAF and they will look into arranging shipping for you.

They encourage participants to post pictures of their candy collection event on social media using #halloweencandybuyback.