• Sunshine City Kids

Sweet Ways to Donate Halloween Candy

Updated: Nov 4, 2019

A list of places to donate Halloween candy in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Got a Halloween candy hangover? On November 1st, most parents are left wondering how they're going to get rid of all the candy their kids brought home.

While you could technically keep the extra candy for filling Christmas stockings or even Easter baskets (hey, it's only 6 months away, don't judge), a great way to skip out on those future sugar crashes is to donate it— some or all— to a good cause. Check out these feel-good ways to get your leftover (pre-packaged, unopened) Halloween candy out of the house and into the hands of people whose days could be made sweeter.

1. Halloween Candy Buy Back Programs

Some local dental offices are participating in Halloween Candy Buy Back programs where candy is donated in exchange for coupons or other goods and sent to veterans' organizations. Here are a few participating drop-off locations in the St. Petersburg area:

Dr. Elizabeth Staves Pediatric Dentistry

Dr. Staves' office is a drop-off location for Operation Gratitude. Bring in your candy to receive a goody bag with a Culver's gift card. Drop off days are November 4-6 from 8:00am to 4:00pm. 5310 4th St. N, St. Petersburg

Klement Family Dental

For each pound of wrapped candy, Klement Family Dental will give you $1 (up to five pounds). Candy will be donated to American troops overseas. Klement Family Dental will host three Halloween Candy Buyback events on November 1st from 3:00-6:30pm, November 2nd until 1:00pm, and November 4th from 3:00-6:30pm. 7650 38th Ave N, St. Petersburg

Monticciolo Family & Sedation Dentistry

Exchange your candy for cash at any of Monticciolo Family & Sedation Dentistry's eight locations. The business will be buying back candy to send to troops via Operation Shoebox for $1 per pound of unopened candy. Drop-off days are November 1st and 4th from 1pm to 5pm. 4850 1st Ave. N, St. Petersburg

Shiny Happy Smiles

Bring in your Halloween candy November 4th through 8th and Dr. Silver will buy it back . For every pound of candy bought, Dr. Silver will donate match it in a monetary donation towards breast cancer research. 11201 Corporate Cir. N, St. Petersburg

2. Operation Shoebox

Operation Shoebox is ready to receive your candy donations — they distribute candy on Halloween, Christmas, and Easter to troops that are missing the festivities while away from home. Collect bags of individually wrapped candies; heat-resistant candy is best in warm seasons. Mail your candy donation to:

Operation Shoebox

8360 East Highway 25

Belleview, FL 34420

3. Operation Gratitude

Operation Gratitude sends care packages to U.S. troops stationed overseas and first responders stateside. It collects hundreds of thousands of pounds of candy annually. The organization's mission is simple: to put a smile on soldiers' faces. The website contains important shipping info for the Halloween Candy Give-Back, and kids are encouraged to include letters and pictures. You can also check out the organization's map for drop-off locations or send your unopened candy to:

Operation Gratitude

Attn: Halloween Candy Program

21100 Lassen St.

Chatsworth, CA 91311

4. Ronald McDonald House Charities

The Ronald McDonald House helps keep severely ill kids and their parents together during treatment. Since families staying here can't trick-or-treat with their little ones, our local Tampa Bay chapter gladly accepts any unwrapped candy donations dropped off directly to the front desk. 401 7th Ave. S, St. Petersburg

Finally, don't forget about local food banks, homeless shelters, or retirement or nursing homes. Many take donations of unopened candy for residents and guests. It's worth calling to find out if they accept treats, which your kids can deliver with a note and a non-cavity-filled smile.

This article was originally published in 2018 and updated.