Halloween has always been that special time of year for young children to roam the streets in pursuit of masses of sugary treats, often returning with more candy than they can eat for days, sometimes weeks on end. This can and will create a headache for sensible parents as they watch their children gorge relentlessly on candy, chocolate and everything in between, until the huge stockpiles eventually run dry. But now there is an alternative that may just be sweet enough to pry many young boys and girls from their hard-earned treats by offering them cash in the Candy Buyback Program, which is being taken up by dentists all over North America in an effort to reduce the massive amounts of sugar children are expected to consume this coming Halloween.
Over 2,500 dental clinics have signed up to participate this year across North America, offering children the chance to sell their collected candy at the going rate of one dollar per pound. This is a huge increase since the beginning of the program, which was founded during the Halloween of 2005 and originally included approximately 300 dental participants. The movement has grown rapidly each year and now includes a Facebook page and a website with a zip code locator that allows online visitors to find out exactly where the closest participating dentist can be found.
The program was originally founded by Dr. Chris Krammer of Wisconsin. Krammer had the idea for the program when he realized that for many children the treat-eating season did not stop after Halloween, but continued on for weeks as they slowly worked through their huge stockpiles of candy. Krammer then had the idea of donating the purchased candy to Operation Gratitude, a foundation which sends care packages to U.S. troops in overseas deployment.
The program was a huge success in Krammer’s local community. Families were happy to encourage their children to sell and the young boys and girls made a profit whilst giving their teeth and their bodies a much-needed break. Since then the program has continued to grow exponentially every Halloween. Over 130 tonnes of candy has been collected since the beginning of the program and donated to Operation Gratitude, a welcome treat for U.S. troops operating overseas. The program has even extended into Canada, with several dentists across the country becoming involved or even starting similar, independent efforts.
The increasing popularity of the Candy Buyback Program every Halloween represents a positive step for the health of children throughout North America, as well as a great way for Americans to express their gratitude to the thousands of U.S. troops operating overseas. And this year may yet be the most successful for the Candy Buyback Program with U.S. candy making companies reporting that they expect an increase in candy sales of almost two percent this Halloween. The expected total expense for the U.S. on candy this year is approximately $2.5 billion, suggesting that the dentists participating in the Candy Buyback Program are about to receive more donated treats this Halloween than they ever have before.
By Mathew Channer