You Can Donate Your Leftover Halloween Candy to American Troops and First Responders
Americans indulged their sweet tooth in a major way this Halloween, spending an estimated $86.27 per person on candy for the 2019 season—much of it intended for front porch distribution. Rather than confronting a weepy child with an empty bowl because they bought too little, shoppers tend to buy in bulk. Come November 1, that can mean pounds of sugar-packed temptation still sitting in the house.
The good news: You can remove the risk to your waistline and do some good at the same time. A number of charitable organizations take leftover candy and send it to troops stationed overseas. Operation Gratitude has set up a number of drop-off centers around the country to accept your extra treats (you can search by zip code). Once collected, they’ll send them to both troops and first responders. Since 2003, the group has sent nearly 2.5 million care packages to deserving heroes.
Often, drop-off locations will be located in dental offices as a way of reminding everyone of the perils of tooth decay from excess sugar consumption. Some dentists even offer buy-back programs, paying as much as $1 for each pound returned.
If donating to a national program is proving difficult, you can always ship the extra candy to Operation Gratitude directly (here's their list of dos and don'ts) or deliver the excess goodies to a local food pantry or homeless shelter.