Cash For Halloween Candy? Dentists’ Buyback Program Is Booming – October 31, 2014 4:57 AM ET


Dr. Curtis Chan, a dentist in Del Mar, Calif., loads up a truck with 5,456 pounds of candy to deliver to Operation Gratitude during the Halloween Candy Buy Back on Nov. 8, 2013. Dr. Chan personally collected 3,542 pounds of candy from patients.

Dr. Curtis Chan, a dentist in Del Mar, Calif., loads up a truck with 5,456 pounds of candy to deliver to Operation Gratitude during the Halloween Candy Buy Back on Nov. 8, 2013. Dr. Chan personally collected 3,542 pounds of candy from patients. Courtesy of Dr. Curtis Chan

If your little ghosts and goblins dump their candy on the living room floor tonight, go ahead: Let them at it. They can sort, then trade, and gorge on their favorites.

But if you’re like many parents, by tomorrow morning you may want to get rid of some of this candy glut.

One possible solution? Check out the Halloween Candy Buy Back program, which was founded by dentist Chris Kammer in Wisconsin. Kammer’s office offers $1 a pound to buy back candy collected by the young trick-or-treaters in his practice.

Troops in Afghanistan pass out candy that was collected by dentists in the buyback program and shipped by Operation Gratitude.

Troops in Afghanistan pass out candy that was collected by dentists in the buyback program and shipped by Operation Gratitude. Courtesy of Operation Gratitude

Think of it as cash for candy. And the idea is catching on.

This year, more than 2,500 dentists and orthodontists have signed up to participate. (There’s a zip code locator, if you want to find a dentist near you.) By comparison, about 300 dentists participated in 2007, the first year the program expanded nationally.

And where does all this candy end up? It’s shipped to U.S. troops overseas, as part of an Operation Gratitude care packages.

Kammer says he started the program when he realized that, for many kids, the treat-eating season dragged on for weeks.

No child needs to have a shopping bag full of candy, Kammer argues. “The thought of that makes me shudder.”

When he started experimenting with the idea of the candy buyback years ago, his own children were not big fans. “They said, ‘Dad, that’s a terrible idea,’ ” he says.

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http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/10/31/360126776/cash-for-halloween-candy-dentists-buy-back-program-is-booming