Business collecting Halloween candy to support deployed troops

PELHAM – Instead of eating Halloween candy for weeks after the holiday has passed or throwing unwanted candy in the trash, a Pelham dentist is asking residents to participate in his candy buy-back program.

Dr. Richard Baxter, owner and practitioner at Shelby Pediatric Dentistry, is urging parents to participate in a candy buy-back program that helps send candy to first responders and deployed troops through Operation Gratitude, a nonprofit organization that supports military and first responder communities.

The candy is included in care packages that are sent to deployed troops and first responders. Every year, Operation Gratitude sends more than 200,000 care packages filled with food, entertainment, hygiene, and handmade items, plus personal letters of appreciation to veterans, first responders, new recruits, wounded heroes, their care givers and to individually named service members deployed overseas and their families waiting at home.

“It’s something to encourage our troops and to give them a taste of home,” Baxter said.

Candy will be collected at the dentist office, located at 2490 Pelham Parkway, Monday through Friday, Oct. 30 – Nov. 3. Shelby Pediatric Dentistry will buy back Halloween candy for $1 per pound up to five pounds.

“When residents come in we will weigh the candy and give them however much the candy is worth,” Baxter said. “Those who participate in the buy-back will be entered into a raffles to win a Sonicare toothbrush and Kindle Fire.”

Baxter added that eating Halloween candy for days or weeks after Halloween may lead to cavities.

“With Halloween especially, it’s not just a one-night thing,” Baxter said. “It turns into eating a few pieces of candy every day and after a while it becomes a habit and it starts to change kids’ taste preferences. They start to want more sugary foods.”

Baxter also advised that sticky candies, such as Butterfinger and Starburst, should be avoided. Even after brushing, Baxter said some of the candy may still be stuck in the grooves of the back teeth.

Contact Shelby Pediatric Dentistry at 419-7444 for more information about the candy buy-back program.