Niagara Falls Dental Clinic trades gift card draws for unwanted candy

A trick-or-treater gets a bag of candy on Halloween night in Ontario. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang. CP

A dental clinic in Niagara Region has brought back a program helping families clear out unwanted Halloween candy through a week-long program, trading the sweets for opportunities to win gift cards and certificates.

The Niagara Falls Dental Clinic started its Candy Buy Back event before the COVID pandemic, giving five ballots to win local experiences for every pound of candy dropped off.

“It’s just an incentive to help clear the candy out of the house and a really good way for parents to introduce giving back in the community because we’re going to donate all of the candy to a local soup kitchen,” explained Kristy Siconolfi, the hygienist who runs the buyback program.

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Running Nov. 1 through 8, the Dorchester Road facility’s program will provide gift certificates worth $50 up for grabs along with a $500 grand prize gift card for Great Wolf Lodge.

The giveaways coincide with a free dental screening for kids event on Nov. 4 that aims to increase parental education about the prevention of dental problems and reduce costly restorative treatment.



About 46% of Canadians said they would be opting out of giving candy on Halloween

A recent online Leger survey revealed 46 per cent of Canadians would opt out of giving Halloween candy this year.

Steve Mossop, a vice president with Leger, says the current economic situation and consumer confidence at some of the lowest levels seen in 13 years was one factor in that decision, according to the data.

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“So people are feeling the pinch, even if it’s just the expenditure on Halloween,” Mossop said.

The poll, conducted between Oct. 20 and 22, doesn’t suggest people cut back on Halloween expenses, in general, but opted to hold the line on their spending.

Almost 71 per cent of Canadians said they would spend about the same amount of money as last year.

However, data showed participation levels are still strong with Canadians, with about 85 percent of parents saying they would take their kids trick or treating.

About a third of adults said they would take part in wearing costumes, buying candy and decorating.

“There’s about 40 per cent of households that are decorating. So it’s not a tradition that’s completely gone away,” suggested Mossop.

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On average, the poll found, those who spend anything, shell out an average of $64.20 for costumes, candy, decorations and other expenses related to Halloween. For parents, the average is $115.80.

– With files from the Canadian Press

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