Where to donate your unwanted Halloween candy

Once Halloween is officially over, you may have a decent amount of leftover candy just sitting around at home. 

But what can you do with it?

Rather than give in to the temptation and eat it for the next few months, here are some ideas on how to repurpose your treats.

Where to donate Halloween candy

There are multiple organizations that will accept unopened candy. Families can donate their candy surplus to military members, first responders, and even sick children unable to trick-or-treat themselves. 

Treats for Troops is a Halloween candy collection program organized by Soldiers’ Angels, which provides aid, comfort, and resources to the military, veterans, and their families. The collected candy is then sent to service members and veterans.

Halloween Candy Buyback is a group that partners with businesses, especially dentist offices, to get extra candy out of the hands of your little ones in exchange for healthy items such as toothbrushes, hygiene kits and coupons. Use the zip code search to find a buyback location in your area.


Candy is pictured during a Halloween party. (Credit: Natalie Kolb/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images)

Operation Shoebox also accepts "any and all kinds" of candy donations throughout the year, and especially after Halloween. The nonprofit sends a bag of candy inside every care package to deployed troops around the world. Leftover candy can be mailed to Operation Shoebox, 8360 East Highway 25, Belleview, FL 34420.

Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC), which provides housing for families who are far from home as their child receives treatment at a hospital as well as other support, doesn’t have a universal Halloween candy donation program. But many local chapters will often accept donations of candy for families. Those interested in donating candy should call their local chapter to confirm. 

Feeding America and FoodPantries.org are other organizations that you can give your leftover candy stash to. Find your local food bank through Feeding America and your nearest food pantry via FoodPantries.org

Local organizations, like schools, churches, homeless shelters, police and fire stations will also often accept leftover candy. Those interested in donating candy should call ahead to confirm. 

Lastly, you can always bring the extra holiday candy into the workplace. Your co-workers will thank you (or complain about not being able to stop eating it). 

Get creative in the kitchen

If you want to keep your candy, another thing families can do with leftover Halloween candy is turn it into desserts.

Mix up the classic chocolate chip cookies by adding chopped-up candy bars, M&Ms, or anything else from trick-or-treat night. You could also do this with Rice Krispies Treats, adding fun Halloween candy flavors. 

One recipe uses leftover Halloween candy on popcorn for a delicious sweet and salty snack. 

Leftover Halloween candy can also be put in the freezer and saved for a later date. Families can store the candy in an air-tight container, such as a plastic food container or a plastic bag with a zip seal. Label it with the date and type of candy, as recommended by The Spruce Eats, a food and recipe website.

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Chocolate candy bars can generally last in the freezer for 10 months to a year, as well as hard candies. Other treats, like peanut butter cups, caramels, jelly beans, and candy corn can last about 6 to 9 months, the website says. 

This story was reported from Los Angeles. Kelly Hayes contributed.