All the trick-or-treaters have come and gone and somehow you still have a small mountain of candy in your house. Add to that the stash your kiddos scored on the big night, and you’ve got enough sweets to feed an army. So guess what? This year, ditch some of that candy and literally feed an army (or Navy, or Airforce…). Check out a few nation-wide operations that take all that sweet stuff and send it to American troops around the globe.

halloween candy trick or treat

Kool Smiles Dentistry Troop Treats 
Located in 16 states across the country (click here to see if there is one near you) teams of dentists want you to bring your candy in. Kool Smiles Troop Treats program is teaming up with Operation Gratitude between now and Nov. 4 to make sure your sweets hit the tummies of our men and women in service. Just find your local spot and make the drop, they’ll take care of the rest.

Operation Gratitude
No Kool Smiles office near you? You can do a search on Operation Gratitude’s site here to find the nearest a candy give-back spot.


If you can’t find a convenient location near you, you can mail in the treats to Operation Gratitude and they will send them for you. Here are the do’s and don’ts:

Candy must be received by Nov. 15

Operation Gratitude
21100 Lassen St.
Chatsworth, Ca 91311
Attn: Angel Cuevas/Receiving

Line your boxes with big bags to ship loose candy or put candy in sealed Ziploc-style bags.

You can also include donations of individually wrapped toothbrushes, dental floss, and toothpaste!

Fill out the Donation Form and include the amount of candy, how many toothbrushes, etc., you are shipping.

Halloween Candy Buy Back with Operation Shoebox
This program offers hundreds of additional locations where you can ditch the candy for cash, prizes, and donations to our troops! Search here to find the one nearest to you.

Wondering where your local buybacks are happening? Check our links below to find out! 

Cash in Your Sweets: A Guide to Seattle’s Halloween Candy Buybacks

A Sweet Way to Give Back in LA

Turn Your Halloween Sweets into Cash: Candy Buy-Backs Around SD

Candy Buy Backs in Every Borough

Know of any other organizations that arrange candy packages to the troops? Tell us about it the comments below and we’ll add to our story! 

photo:  Jim Voorhies via flickr

—Amber Guetebier