DESTIN — Guidance from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on safe Halloween trick-or-treating is easing up a bit this year, but it's still likely that households stocking up on goodies for visiting ghosts and goblins, and even the ghosts and goblins themselves, will find themselves with leftover candy.
And that's where Sarah K's Gourmet, a Destin takeout restaurant specializing in ready-to-heat cuisine, comes in.
For the 13th consecutive year, the restaurant in Suite 183 of the Shoppes at Paradise Isle at 34940 U.S. Highway 98 will collect leftover Halloween candy for shipment and distribution to U.S. military troops with a local connection who are serving overseas.
The restaurant will begin this year's leftover candy collection on Nov. 1, and will continue to accept candy through Nov. 6. The restaurant will be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on those days.
As in years past, children who bring in candy are encouraged to write a note to the troops for whom the candy is bound and include a picture of themselves in their Halloween costumes.
“Our community is closely tied to the military, and this is such a fun way to give the troops a little lift during the holiday season,” Sarah K. Schreifer, owner of Sarah K's Gourmet, said in announcing this year's candy collection effort.
Last year: Destin business to again collect leftover Halloween candy for troops overseas
From the archives: Making troops smile — Halloween style
From the archives: Making troops smile — Halloween style
“Not only are we helping our servicemen, but also we are teaching our children the values of sharing and donating, as well as fighting the epidemic of childhood obesity," Schreifer added.
And then, confessing a not-so-secret secret of the days after Halloween in many households, Schreifer added that the leftover candy collection "helps the adults from eating the leftovers — of which I am certainly prone!”
The candy will be shipped to troops with some local connections serving in a number of overseas locations, Schreifer said. She covers the shipping cost, which is usually a couple hundred dollars, with help from people who donate to that part of the effort.
In the past 12 years, more than 1,700 pounds of candy — an average of more than 140 pounds each year — has been collected and sent to troops overseas.© DAILY NEWS/FILE PHOTO From left, Amanda Marquardt, Lauren Thornton, Shavonne Kitchens, Erin Vespestad, Tiffany Eaves and Sarah K. Schreifer are pictured with some of the candy collected in an early candy collection campaign.
According to some quick back-of-the envelope calculations, 140 pounds of candy is the equivalent of nearly 1,500 standard two-packs of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, more than 1,200 standard-size PayDay candy bars or a little more than 1,000 of the 2.17-ounce packs of Skittles.
On one occasion during the now-13-year run of the candy collection, the average 140-pound haul was boosted substantially when local Walgreens donated boxes and boxes of its leftover Halloween candy. That year, shipping costs were nearly $500, according to Schreifer.
Deciding where the candy goes along with the notes and photos isn't an exact science, Schreifer said during an interview last year.
"It's kind of word of mouth," she said at the time. "People will say, 'We have a brother' or 'We have a cousin,' or 'My spouse is over there'," and those will be among the places where the candy will go."© CONTRIBUTED PHOTO Trevor McBride, one of the overseas recipients of leftover Halloween candy donated by trick-or-treaters and parents in the Destin area, smiles as he holds up a note from three of the youngsters who participated in last year's effort. For the 13th consecutive year, Sarah K's Gourmet restaurant in Destin is collecting leftover Halloween candy to send to U.S. military troops with a local connection who are serving overseas.
But one thing is always certain about the troops who will get the candy.
"There's never a shortage, unfortunately," Schreifer said while gearing up for last year's effort.
The candy shipments are a great morale booster for the men and women serving, and they also create bonds between children and the troops.
“We have had soldiers pen us letters and send emails telling us that this was such an unexpected surprise and such a bright spot in their day,” Schreifer said as she announced this year's effort.
Among last year's overseas candy recipients was Trevor McBride, who sent back a note saying, “I just want to say THANK YOU to everyone who donated and for the personal notes from children and for sending your own candy from trick-or-treating to my team in a deployment care package from Destin, Florida. We definitely appreciate all of the sweets & a big shoutout to Sarah K’s Gourmet for putting this all together. Thank you for giving us some holiday cheers!”© CONTRIBUTED PHOTO U.S. troops serving overseas eagerly dig into a box of Halloween candy sent to them through a program begun 12 years ago by Destin restaurateur Sarah Schreifer. In the days after Halloween, people bring their leftover Halloween candy to her restaurant, Sarah K's Gourmet, from where it is shipped overseas.
For trick-or-treating this year, the CDC recommends the following safety precautions: Avoid direct contact with trick-or-treaters, give out treats outdoors, if possible, and set up a station with individually bagged treats for kids to take.
The CDC also says that trick-or-treaters should wear a CDC-recommended cloth mask, and not rely on a regular Halloween mask to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.
This article originally appeared on Northwest Florida Daily News: What to do with leftover Halloween candy? Sarah K's Gourmet collecting goodies for troops.
Source : https://www.msn.com/en-us/foodanddrink/foodnews/what-to-do-with-leftover-halloween-candy-sarah-ks-gourmet-collecting-goodies-for-troops/ar-AAPViH91618