A Windsor dentist is offering a Halloween candy buyback program for his younger patients, hoping they'll give up some of their Halloween candy to Canadian soldiers.
"Often after the dust settles after Halloween, kids have a lot of leftover Halloween candy that is excessive and goes to waste," said Dr. Mark Luvisotto, the dentist who's organizing the buyback program at his practice.
Luvisotto has pledged $1 for every pound of candy that is brought back, up to five pounds per child. The collected candy will be sent to Canadian troops serving overseas.
"We want to educate patients that there are healthy alternatives to traditional Halloween candy that kids consume," he said. "We're trying to change their frame of reference and get them snacking in a different sort of way, as well as instilling the mindset of giving back."
This isn't the first time a Windsor dentist has run a Halloween candy buyback program.
Dr. Michael Bencak did something similar in his practice from 2007 until 2011. He estimates his practice collected more than 1,000 pounds of candy over that period, though he had to stop when a fire damaged parts of his office.
He said he plans to collaborate with Luvisotto next year if this year's buyback is successful.
"We weren't asking the kids to give all their candy, just the ones they didn't like," Bencak said. "By taking it out of their hands we felt we were maintaining their oral health and giving back to the troops overseas."
Bencak said the donation was just as important as the positive health effects of eating less candy.
"The troops, to know that children back home were thinking about them was a good message, we thought," Bencak said.
Luvisotto's practice is hosting the buyback from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. the Tuesday after Halloween.
He said he isn't sure how many kids are going to be participating but he's gotten positive responses so far — from kids and their parents.
"There is a lot of excess that kids have during holidays, especially with Halloween," Luvisotto said. "It's great to get them back to the giving mindset."