Girl Scouts left with thousands of unsold cookie boxes due to coronavirus

The coronavirus pandemic has drastically upended life across America, included a time-honored spring tradition — Girl Scout cookie season. In late March, the Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) suspended door-to-door sales and cookie booths for members to market the famous treats, soon after the global COVID-19 outbreak was declared a national emergency. After troop leaders worried that their groups would lose funds due to a potential surplus of unsold cookies — some varieties of which currently retail for up to $6 a box — GSUSA officials stepped up to offer extra support through the unprecedented situation, a report claims. “The COVID-19 pandemic hit the U.S. hard in the midst of cookie season, so many girls and councils haven’t been able to sell their inventory due to social distancing and other safety precautions,” a spokesperson for GSUSA told Today in a Monday interview. “Girl Scouts of the USA is working closely with our 111 local councils across the country who administer the iconic Girl Scout Cookie program to try and ensure that troops, girls, and volunteers aren’t left financially responsible for any excess inventory of Girl Scout Cookies.” Amid the ongoing outbreak, GSUSA is now promoting a new program called Cookie Care, which allows shoppers to buy cookies from their local troops online, or donate the treats to first responders, food pantries and town and county employees. Looking ahead, the spokesperson said GSUSA will also offer additional support, such as potential buy-backs and connecting donation centers with troops. “Many councils have extended their sales deadlines, and will communicate their practices and guidelines to their troops at the end of their season,” the spokesperson said. According to GSUSA, Girl Scout councils sell the beloved cookies for between six and eight weeks each year. Most sales happen between January and April, but some occur as early as September. The cookie sales benefit programming for 1.7 million girls, the organization said. This year, 1.3 million boxes of Girl Scout cookies have been sold, the Cookie Care platform states. “For 108 years, Girl Scouts has been there in times of crisis and turmoil,” GSUSA CEO Sylvia Acevedo said in a statement. “And today we are stepping forward with new initiatives to help girls, their families, and consumers connect, explore, find comfort and take action.”

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