Let’s face it: Halloween is amazing, but nobody needs all that candy, right? So before your kids end up on a permanent sugar high — or you end up scarfing it yourself — get it out the door, or at least packed away. Here are some ways you can feel good about ditching your haul.
Give It Away
Children are bound to fight the idea of throwing their hard-earned booty away, so why not donate it?
First off, call your local dentist or orthodontist; many take donations or do candy buybacks, then send the candy to one of the charities listed below. Working locally saves you the trouble of packing the treats, and lets your kids hand their goodies over to someone directly. Many schools will also take donations, then send the candy overseas.
Among the businesses taking donations this season: Benjamin Hardy Real Estate Group in Wayne, Foote Orthodontics in Wayne and Bryn Mawr, Parnes and Hill Phamily Orthodontics in Wayne and Paoli, JDT Construction in Malvern, HomeCooked in Paoli, JDog Junk Removal in Berwyn, Focus Fitness Main Line in Bryn Mawr, Lulu’s Casita in Ardmore, Berwyn United Methodist Nursery School in Berwyn, Village Treats in Narberth, Purenergy Studio in Paoli, Dain Dance Academy in Havertown, Long Financial Group in Plymouth Meeting, Country Charm Furnishings in Phoenixville, and The Greyhound Cafe in Malvern.
Here are three big groups that take donations, then ship the candy to U.S. military members. All have searchable maps on their websites, to help you find a place to make a drop that’s near you.
Ship your candy by November 15 to Operation Gratitude, 21100 Lassen St., Chatsworth, California, 91311, and mark it to the attention of “Angel Cuevas/Receiving 818-469-0448.” The group asks that you use plastic bags, preferably zippered, and not send powdered candy. You can also send toothbrushes, floss, and other dental products, to counteract the sugar!
This group asks that all candy be individually wrapped, and mailed to 8360 E. Highway 25, Belleview, Florida, 34420. Despite the organization’s name, gallon Ziploc bags are preferable to shoeboxes.
This group works mostly with dentists; find your local office with their map. If you want to send it straight to the main organization, click here.
Check with your favorite charity or nonprofit group and ask whether they’d like some, too. The Philadelphia Ronald MacDonald House can take only unopened bags of candy, but other groups might still be interested. Try nursing homes or senior communities as well — some residents might appreciate a sweet treat, and they’d certainly love a visit from some happy kids.
This option takes some willpower, for you and the kids. But if you can manage it, store the candy, then use it the next time you need treats. Some ideas for that Halloween stash:
• Pinata filling at your child’s next party
• Birthday goodie bags
• Prizes for an accomplishment (grades, athletic feats, behavior goals, etc.)
• Recipes (chop candy bars and add to cookies, bars, or sundaes)
Don’t keep the candy around indefinitely, though — if it’s still around when Daylight Saving Time starts next spring, toss it.
Photograph by Gwyneth K. Shaw.