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How to Get Rid of Halloween Candy Around the Main Line

Where and how to ditch that sugary stash.

Weekend Halloween events, Trunk-or-Treat activities around every corner, PLUS the grand finale of actually going out to trick or treat on Halloween night means you’ve got candy storage issues. Not to mention a fear of what the dentist will be saying at your next check-ups! Not to fear- instead of having the kids toss out their hard-earned loot help them to find some ways they can do some good with it instead!

Donate It!

Many local businesses will collect Halloween candy, and send it off to various non profits and to members of the military. Some take straight donations, while some offer a “buy back” option where you get money based on how many pieces or how many pounds you bring in. Or you may encounter a businesses giving a coupon towards your purchase for bringing in your candy. Finding these local businesses that take your candy saves you from having to pack it up and ship it yourself, too!


Here are the ones we’ve found so far: Broomall Pediatric DentistryFoote Orthodontics in Wayne and Bryn Mawr, Driven2Drive in Bala Cynwyd,  Performance Fitness of Wynnewood, Mad Hatter Adventures Travel Company in Broomall, McSurdy Orthodontics in Collegeville, Mongiovi Orthodontics in Glen Mills collects and donates $1 per pound to JDRF, Dental Solutions of Bala Cynwyd collects and gives their donors new toothbrushes, and the multiple locations of Allergy & Asthma Specialists buys back for $1 per pound.


Benjamin Hardy Real Estate Group puts together their own drive for Operation Shoebox/Operation Sweetness with drop off locations at Keller Williams Devon-WayneLulu’s Casita – Ardmore & West ChesterParnes and Hill Phamily Orthodontics – Wayne & PaoliThe Greyhound Cafe – MalvernPrecision Kettlebells – MalvernLong Financial Group – Plymouth MeetingPurenergy Studio – PaoliHomecooked – Paoli (donors get a $5 HomeCooked coupon, too!), Focus Fitness Main Line – Bryn MawrChildren’s Garden – Wayne.


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.


Operation Gratitude

Ship your candy by November 9 to Operation Gratitude, ATTN: Halloween Candy Program, 21100 Lassen St., Chatsworth, California, 91311. 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! Visit their website for more do’s and dont’s!


Operation Shoebox

Send bags of individually wrapped candy to 8360 E. Highway 25, Belleview, Florida, 34420. They ask to be mindful of the heat when sending candy, and to send your donation in plastic zip top bags instead of actual shoeboxes. This group collects during Christmas and Easter, too.


Soldiers’ Angels/Halloween Candy Buyback

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. Try nursing homes or senior communities — some residents might appreciate a sweet treat, and they’d certainly love a visit from some happy kids. You can contact your local hospital to see if you can donate your treats to their nursing and housekeeping staff.

Bank It

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:’

  • Fill the pinata at your next birthday party or block party
  • Birthday party goodie bags
  • Prizes for an accomplishment (grades, athletic feats, behavior goals, etc.)
  • Recipes (chop candy bars to add to cookies or brownies), ice cream sundae toppings, and (as one reader suggested to us) use for Gingerbread Houses!


Don’t keep the candy around indefinitely, though — if it’s still around when Daylight Saving Time starts next spring, toss it.


Trade It!

If you have a child with diabetes, or there are food allergies in your home, there are options for you, too! Boscov’s in Plymouth Meeting allows you to bring in your bag of candy that you cannot eat and trade it in for a $10 coupon. Bryn Mawr Hospital will host their event for children with food allergies or juvenile diabetes, but you have to call to register in advance: 484-33-4618.


Contributing writer (and photographer!): Gwyneth K. Shaw




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