The Candy Takeback Program: Enjoy a Healthier Halloween Minus the Headaches

Do you love celebrating Halloween with your family but worry about your child eating too many sweets? Our Candy Takeback Program is here to help!

Halloween Candy: The Sweet and the Not-So-Sweet

Managing the Halloween stash can be challenging for parents and care givers. A little bit of candy is okay in moderation. However, candy shouldn’t replace healthier foods such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables – which can happen especially when we have access to large amounts of it, as in the case of trick-or-treat bags and other Halloween goodies.

Sugary foods such as candy can cause rapid spikes in blood sugar that can negatively affect our mood and health. Over time, this can lead to other health problems such as obesity and chronic disease. 

How Our Candy Takeback Program Works

To encourage healthier eating habits and help parents navigate the days following Halloween, NDMI – in partnership with Munson Healthcare – organizes candy drop-off locations throughout the region. These “sweet spots” give parents, children, and candy givers a place to donate some of their leftover candy. 

Last year, we successfully collected over 830 pounds, distributing it to local veterans’ organizations as well as military members stationed overseas, giving deserving adults something sweet to enjoy.

How to Participate

This year, our program is larger than ever, with several newly added drop-off sites spanning four counties including Antrim, Charlevoix, Crawford, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Manistee, Otsego, and Wexford. To participate, bring a portion of your leftover candy to a location near you (see below) Friday, Nov. 1 through Tuesday, Nov. 5.

Questions? Call 231-935-9227.


Interested in handing out healthier treats this Halloween?

Help encourage a more healthful Halloween for children and parents alike with these sweet alternatives!

  • Glow sticks
  • Fake mustaches
  • Punch balloons
  • Sticky hands
  • Black/orange rubber bracelets or slap bracelets
  • Eyeball themed bouncy balls
  • Mini playdough
  • Spooky stickers/temporary tattoos
  • Coins (pocket change)
  • Bubbles
  • Pretzels
  • Goldfish
  • Halloween hand popcorn