Happy, healthy Halloween

LIHUE — Kilauea resident Jim Edmonds is hoping to rid Halloween of the unhealthy, high-fat treats the holiday is so well known for.

“If we’re going to give out goodies, we might as well give out healthy goodies,” he said.

Last year, Edmonds started small, with just a handful of houses in Kilauea participating. He calls his venture “AHHH — Annual Happy HEALTHY Halloween,” and says the response he’s received so far in his community has been exciting.

“Of the maybe 45 families who dropped by, four or five said, ‘This is the only place we are going to Trick or Treat,’” he said of those who came to his home.

Last year, in support of his idea, the Kilauea Elementary School PTSA formed the Happy HEALTHY Halloween Committee, naming Edmonds as chair, to encourage and promote the distribution of alternative treats. Edmonds said the PTSA receives and disperses funds for the project, so all donations are tax free.

“So far, we’ve been able to provide a very nice healthy treat bag for each Kilauea school student,” he said. “The teachers usually pay for less healthy treats with their own scarce funds so they are excited to be able to hand out better treats and they are welcoming the community’s financial support.”

The goal is simple: Encourage local residents, communities, businesses, churches and other groups to replace the normal buckets of high-calorie junk food with toys, pencils and healthy, nutritious treats.

Instead of a Snickers or KitKat, how about a GloryBee organic clover HoneyStix? Or a YummyEarth lollipop?

While healthier snacks and candies do cost more, Edmonds says they are worth it. And his hope is to take the movement from Kilauea to other island communities and beyond.

“I’m going to take this thing national,” he said. “This is a long-term project. We’re going to be working on this for many years.”

Edmonds is asking local residents and businesses to spread the word and organize within their own communities. And he’s willing to help by recommending healthy treat ideas, providing Healthy Halloween signs for the front yard, as well publishing a printable map of locations offering healthy snacks.

Edmond’s recommendations for scrumptious goodies include: GloryBee organic clover HoneyStix; YummyEarth lollipops; Endangered Species Chocolate; Dagoba Organic Chocolate; Justin’s peanut butter cups; and Alter Eco chocolates.

To get involved or for more information, contact Jim Edmonds at jim@AHHH.care or visit the Annual Happy HEALTHY Halloween Facebook page.

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