Trick or Treat is one of the highlights of Halloween for many families, but the excess amount of leftover Halloween candy can be overwhelming.
Donate your excess Halloween candy to a good cause! You’ll get the temptation out of your house and into the hands of someone who could use a treat.
If you bought too much candy to pass out for trick or treat, or your kids brought home mass quantities, you’ll probably want to pass some of it on. Sort through the Halloween haul with your kids and let them pick out their favorites to enjoy over the next month, or as rewards. Get rid of the rest by giving it to a good cause!
Convincing your kids to donate leftover Halloween candy
Are your kids reluctant about giving away their candy? Talk to them about the organization to which you are donating the candy. Sometimes explaining the need to donate and help others (in age-appropriate terms) can help kids let go and want to help. Let them know that the candy will cheer someone else up, or go to someone who doesn’t have a chance to trick or treat.
Call on the Switch Witch. This fun tradition rewards kids in exchange for their extra candy. They pick a small amount to keep, and leave the rest out for the Switch Witch on a certain day. The Switch Witch comes by to collect the candy, and leaves a small toy or a small amount of money. The Switch Witch will need to have a plan of what to do with the candy, or where to hide the candy to they (you) don’t spoil the fun!
You can also offer to “pay” your kids for their candy. Young kids will be happy to get pennies or nickels for each piece, or you can set a reward or treat (even a trip to the park) for a larger quantity for older kids.
Read below to pick an organization where you can donate leftover candy.
Feed the Kids Columbus
Feed the Kids Columbus partners with communities, local schools, and organizations to provide supplemental groceries to children dealing with food insecurities. They are collecting leftover Halloween candy to add to put in food bags and lunches.
There is a link to signup, and you can drop off anytime between November 1-8 in Dublin.
Veterans Halloween CANDY Drive
MASH Pantry and Resource Center is collecting Halloween candy to give to veterans on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of November & December (10 – noon). They will be collecting during the entire month of November, and are willing to pick up quantities if you can’t drop off.
MASH Delaware, 222 E. William Street Delaware, OH 43015
MASH Grove City 2996 Columbus St, Grove City, OH 43123
The Ronald McDonald House
RMH of Central Ohio accommodates thousands of families each year and aims to make their otherwise difficult stay feel special. In years past, they have accepted donations of Halloween candy to have available for the families.
Please call 614-227-3700 to find out the process for dropping off donations, and what is accepted. They also have opportunities for other types of wish list donations, including assembled snack bags and no-sew snack blankets, if you want to get your kids involved in the spirit of giving and serving others.
Operation Gratitude Halloween Candy Buy Back
In years past, local dental offices paid kids for their leftover Halloween candy as part of Operation Gratitude Halloween Candy Give Back Program. The donations were then sent overseas to our troops through Veteran’s organizations.
In 2020, it appears very few, if any, offices are participating – likely due to health and safety restrictions in place at medical offices. If you know of any offices participating, let us know! Otherwise, we can hope it’ll be back in action in 2021.
Soldiers’ Angels Treats for Troops
The organization collects excess Halloween candy and ships it in by the care package full to deployed troops overseas. Candy is also shared with veterans at VA Hospitals across the country. You can ship leftover candy for packaging, or create candy treat bags that they can distribute. See details here.
Other options for donating
Nursing homes: Many nursing homes will collect wrapped candy to use for bingo and games, treats, and more. Even if you have donated in the past to a specific nursing home, please check with them before you arrive to see if there are restrictions, and what you should do upon arrival. Some may not be accepting candy donations in 2020.
Food pantry: Local food pantries may accept candy donations, but please check for restrictions or limitations for 2020.
Teachers/Schools: If you know of any teachers or school employees, ask them if they have a use for some of your leftover Halloween candy. Some educators use candy as incentives or rewards for students. They already spend so much of their own money for their classrooms, so a candy donation may be greatly appreciated.
- Note: some schools do not allow this, while others do. Some may only allow peanut-free treats, while others may not limit this. Ask around!
Do you know of other places to donate leftover Halloween candy?
If you know of an organization or business collecting leftover Halloween candy, please comment below with a link or details, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to include their information to make their collection a success.
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