Home / Local Stories  / Play: Things to do with your kids  / Main Line Fall Activities  / How to Get Rid of Halloween Candy Around the Main Line

How to Get Rid of Halloween Candy Around the Main Line

Where and how to ditch that sugary stash.

2020 Update: We noticed this article is trending and want to remind you all to call and check in with the businesses listed here before dropping off. This is our 2019 list and we do not know if all places are still collecting due to the pandemic. HomeCooked did confirm with us, they are collecting and giving a $5 Grab N Go gift card to anyone who drops off candy.


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:

Benjamin Hardy Real Estate Group puts together their own drive for Operation Shoebox/Operation Sweetness with the following drop off locations:

Ship It!

Operation Gratitude

Ship your candy by November 8 to Operation Gratitude, ATTN: Halloween Candy Program, 21100 Lassen St., Chatsworth, California, 91311-4278. 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.

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.)
  • Treats for a long car ride (or if you have a Disney or other amusement park trip planned- dole them out while you wait in long ride lines)
  • 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 from November 1 – 7.

Bryn Mawr Hospital will host their event for children with insulin-dependent diabetes, but you have to call to register in advance: 484-337-4618.

Content Director, Main Line Parent & Philadelphia Family. Email me at pamela@familyfocus.org