Wondering what to do with leftover Halloween candy? Donating Halloween candy is always a good way to get rid of it without creating waste. Sadly, however, you can no longer donate candy to Operation Gratitude. According to their website…
“We are excited to announce we are rebalancing the Operation Gratitude Care Package “machine” (our incredible volunteer workforce, warehousing infrastructure, shipping methods, etc.) as we transition away from the Halloween Candy Give-Back program to improve support to our troops and first responders. Although we love the massive donations of candy that were sent over the years, we’ve learned that the bulk shipments we needed to use to disperse tons of sweets can create serious logistics bottlenecks for our units of service members and first responders.”Read more
Since Operation Gratitude is no longer collecting candy through the Candy Give Back Program for the troops, we’ve created a list of other ways to donate candy and creative ways to use your leftover candy.
Don’t let all that leftover Halloween candy go to waste, or worse, get eaten! There are many creative ways to use your leftover Halloween candy. Keep reading to discover the best ways to put that leftover candy to good use.
Don’t forget to check out our Halloween posts:
15 Creative Ways to Donate Candy or Use Your Leftover Halloween Treats
1. Donate it to a local non-profit organization such as a food bank or homeless shelter.
Check with your local food bank or homeless shelter to see if they are accepting candy.
2. Donate it to the troops.
Despite Operation Gratitude suspending its collection program, there are many organizations that collect candy to send to the troops overseas. This is a great way to get rid of your candy, and you’ll be supporting our troops at the same time!
Their mission is to provide aid, comfort, and resources to the military and veteran community— no matter what that individual’s political or religious affiliations might be.
Note – They are based in Texas and you are responsible for any shipping fees. Read more here.
Dental clinics generally host buybacks, but other local businesses also participate. The Buyback’s objective is to get rid of extra Halloween candy from youngsters while also supporting our military. It’s a fantastic way to benefit several charities and advertise your business at the same time! This program supports Move America Forward and Operation Shoebox.
This program lets you choose which military branch you want to donate candy to. Their program also explains the dos and don’ts of care packages and how to send them.
3. Donate it to a local dentist office for their candy buy-back program.
Many dentist offices offer candy buy-back programs where they will pay you for your candy! Kids can earn some extra money, and it helps keep their teeth healthy.
If your dentist isn’t offering a buyback program, you can also entice your kids with a visit from the Switch Witch. Have them leave their candy out and “she” will collect it and leave them a gift in its place. After that you can simply donate the candy.
4. Donate it to your child’s school.
Some schools have programs where they collect candy to use for different purposes such as classroom parties or rewards. Donating your candy to the school is a great way to get rid of it, and it’s also helpful for the school.
5. Make a care package for a friend or family member.
If you have a friend or family member who is away at college, in the military, or lives far away, you can send them a care package full of their favorite candy! You can let them know you’re thinking of them, and they’ll appreciate the sweet treat. It could be a fun kindness project to complete, sending cards and treats. Just be careful mailing anything that includes chocolate.
6. Make a dessert.
There are many different desserts that you can make with Halloween candy, such as candy bar pies, candy bark, or candy-coated pretzels. You can even just add some to your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. Get creative and see what you can come up with!
7. Add it to hot chocolate.
This is a great way to use up those chocolate candies that you may have left over. Add a few Hershey Kisses to your favorite hot chocolate recipe, and enjoy!
8. Make candy bark.
Candy bark is a delicious and easy treat that you can make with your leftover Halloween candy. Melt some chocolate, stir in the candy, and spread it out on a sheet of wax paper. Once it’s cooled, break it into pieces and enjoy or pack it up in a decorative container as a homemade gift.
9. Use it to decorate gingerbread houses.
This is a great way to use up those small candies that you may have left over. Glue them onto the gingerbread houses with a little bit of icing, and voila!
10. Make a DIY advent calendar.
With the holiday season right around the corner, you can save some of that candy to use as a countdown to Christmas. You can make your own DIY advent calendar, like this one, and fill each day with a small treat.
11. Make Edible Slime
Slime you can eat! Who knew? Gather up all that leftover Starburst candy and get ready for a fun DIY project your kids will love. With this easy recipe, you only need some water, oil, and powdered sugar to make edible slime.
12. Try Some STEM Projects
Marshmallows, Halloween Peeps, or anything soft and squishy makes excellent building blocks to pair with toothpicks or pretzel sticks. Have your kids see how tall they can build a structure that can stay standing using nothing but toothpicks and candy. You can also try this fun Skittles in milk experiment.
13. Make Trail Mix
Use the candy corn or M&Ms to add a little bit of sweetness to a salty trail mix for a healthier way to enjoy that Halloween candy.
14. Fill a Pinata
Save the candy to fill a pinata for a fun birthday party activity.
15. Paint With Candy
Not only can you taste the rainbow with Skittles, but you can also paint with them. Melt Skittles in water to create scented watercolors or place them in a cup with corn syrup to create a thicker, glossy paint.
Want to set up a local collection drive and add your location to our website? Email us firstname.lastname@example.org