Here’s a little secret: candy is around all year long. Sure, we hype it up for Halloween, but you can get a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup or Skittles (apparently the top Halloween candy of 2021) or even candy corn during any season. So when your kids come home from trick or treating with a massive haul—or if you find yourself with lots of leftovers when the witching hour ends—don’t feel like you need to hoard your stash. Donate it.
TODAY shared a list of five organizations accepting candy donations, all for good causes. There are some universal ground rules—all candy must be unopened, no homemade treats, etc.—but almost everything is fair game.
- Soldiers’ Angels is all about getting care packages to U.S. troops overseas, and their Treats for Troops program is about making some of those packages just 100% full of candy. Kids can get buyback prizes from drop-off locations, and parents get a sweet, sweet tax-deductible receipt.
- Halloween Candy Buyback encourages kids to bring their candy into dentists’ offices to exchange it for healthy items like toothbrushes or coupons for local businesses. Those hauls are also donated to troops overseas and veteran organizations.
- Operation Gratitude collects donations not just for active military, but also for hospital workers and first responder units.
- Operation Shoebox ships up to 500 packages to overseas military bases a week, and they’re always accepting candy donations.
- To pay it forward to children who couldn’t get out to trick or treat, donate leftovers to the Ronald McDonald Charities. Each local chapter may have different rules for what is donatable based on the needs of the particular children in each area.
And of course, The Takeout staff also is always accepting candy donations, but our cause is far less noble (let’s face it, we’re just trying to recreate this), so go ahead and just stick to the list.