Teeny toddlers, precocious preschoolers, and sassy schoolkids all know that when the leaves start turning to vibrant colors, it's time to dream of Halloween. Nothing is more indulgent than dressing up like your favorite hero, knocking on neighborhood doors, and asking for free sugary treats.
When the hoopla has settled down, many parents are frustrated by the amount of confections overflowing in their pantries, some of which will be thrown out before the winter holidays. Here are some fabulous spots on Long Island to donate leftover Halloween candy. And for more great ways to help the less fortunate, check out our list of places to donate gently used toys and baby gear.
Halloween Candy Buyback
Chris Kammer, a dentist from Wisconsin, came up with an ingenious idea for keeping kids from gorging on candy until springtime. He offered by buy back his mini-patients' leftover sweets for $1 a pound with proceeds going to charity. It quickly became a national sensation, with more than 2,000 dentists participating in every state. In 2017, 122,000 pounds of candy were sold to dentists by tiny treaters. Most of the loot was sent to troops overseas, who gave it to local children to help build relationships.
Participating dentists in Nassau neighborhoods include Drs. ...
In Suffolk, check out ...
You can send candy directly to deployed troops, first-responders, and veterans by securing it in zip-closed bags or boxes lined in plastic and dropping it off at one of several locations, including East Northport Middle School and Dr. Glen's Happy Teeth in Long Beach.. Remember not to send powdery sweets such as pixi-sticks, and to separate candy from other donations. You can also ship it directly to Operation Gratitude, Attn Halloween Candy Program, 21100 Lassen St., Chatsworth, California, 91311-4278.
Operation Shoebox donates packages to troops overseas who are celebrating holidays away from home. Collect bags of wrapped, heat-resistant candy and ship them to Operation Shoebox, 8360 East Highway 25, Belleview, Florida, 34420.
Houses of Worship
Some local houses of worship, including Corpus Christi Roman Catholic Church in Mineola and St. Aidan's food pantry, part of the the Catholic parish in Williston Park, will collect your unwrapped candy and donate it to the less fortunate. Call before visiting.