How much Halloween candy is too much? The answer is there is never enough – if you’re keeping it out of the hands of children and putting it in care packages for our troops serving overseas.
For the fourth year in a row, the San Diego Childhood Obesity Initiative, Healthy Kids Choice, Inc. and the San Diego Dental Society are partnering on the annual “Candy Buy Back” program.
The intention is to address the issue of childhood obesity and dental health among San Diego County youth. Through Nov. 12, participating dentists, doctors and local businesses will purchase unopened candy from trick-or-treaters with a bounty of $1 per pound.
For a list of drop off locations, visit www.candybuyback.org. Times and dates vary depending on location.
The program collected more than 5,500 pounds of candy last year. That’s a dramatic increase from the 3,800 pounds handed over in 2009 and the program hopes to increase the total again this year.
The candy is then sent to Operation Gratitude in Van Nuys and put in care packages for troops overseas. Operation Gratitude’s mission, according to its website, “is to lift morale, bring a smile to a service member’s face and express to our armed forces the appreciation and support of the American people.”
The San Diego Childhood Obesity Initiative was created by the San Diego County Board of Supervisors in 2004 at the recommendation of Supervisors Ron Roberts and Pam Slater-Price. Funding for the Coalition is provided in part by the County of San Diego, First 5 San Diego, Kaiser Permanente and the California Endowment.
“With the County’s Live Well, San Diego! initiative, this program brings together community partners to improve the overall health of San Diego County children,” said Dr. Wilma Wooten, county public health officer. “This program takes unhealthy amounts of candy out of the hands of kids and encourages parents to help them make healthier choices about what they eat.”
– From a San Diego County news release.