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What to do with all that candy? Some dentists will buy it, donate it to the troops

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Trying to figure out what to do with all that Halloween candy? Organizations around the state are offering to buy it from your kids – seriously.

U.S. Healthworks estimates a trick-or-treater gets an average of 143 pieces of fun-sized candy on Halloween – which weighs out to just over 5 pounds. UPI pegs it at anywhere from 3,500 to 7,000 calories.

That's a lot of sugar, so the people tasked with helping keep your kids healthy are offering to buy all the sticky, sugary, cavity-in-waiting candy you’ve got. And then they’ll then send that candy to deployed military members who might enjoy a little pick-me-up.

It’s called the Halloween Candy Buyback.

Bring your excess, unnecessary candy in to a participating dentist's office, and get paid $1 for each pound of treats, usually up to 5 pounds. The candy then gets shipped to overseas U.S. troops via Operation Gratitude. Operation Gratitude ships care packages to deployed military members, containing things such as shaving razors, clothing, other food items, hand-written letters and more.

River Hills Dental in Winona is trying out the candy buyback program for the first time this year, according to a post on the dentist's office Facebook page. The buyback event is Monday from 3:30-6 p.m.

“I’m not saying no candy — but learning how to eat responsibly,” Michelle Stewart, a dentist at River Hills, told the Winona Daily News.

LifeSmiles Dental in Fergus Falls hosted a candy buyback event on Sunday, the Fergus Falls Journal reports, which paid $1 for every pound of unwrapped candy – up to $10.

“Candy can lead to hyperactivity and weight gain as well as hurting children’s teeth and causing cavities,” LifeSmiles Dental Hygienist Janice Hendrickson told the paper. It's the second year the dental office is participating.

Sartell Pediatrics, Pediatric Dentistry and BLEND teamed up for a buyback event Sunday as well, the St. Cloud Times says. Last year, the group collected 1,000 pounds of candy from roughly 300 kids, the paper notes.

To find a Halloween candy buyback program near you, click here – the website lets you search by zip code. If you'd like to donate candy to the troops on your own, click here for more information.

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