A Girl Scout Cookie Conundrum

In news nobody thought possible, there are millions of dollars worth of unsold Girl Scout cookies sitting in a warehouse in Alpharetta, GA.  

Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta CEO Amy Dosik stated that more than 720,000 boxes of cookies remain unsold due to challenges hailing from the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Prior to Covid-19, an average of four million boxes were sold each year by Atlanta-area Girl Scout troops, with a large portion coming from door-to-door sales and cookie booths set up outside of local businesses.  

This year, Girl Scout cookie season was extended by several weeks and moved primarily online to encourage socially distant orders, but it still hasn’t been enough.  Currently, only two and a half million boxes have been sold.  Atlanta area customers can visit ShowMeTheCookies.com to order. 

“While online cookie sales in our local area on Girl Scouts’ Digital Cookie platform were up nearly 150% over last year, online sales didn’t make up for significantly lower door-to-door and cookie booth sales, which were negatively impacted by Covid-19,” Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta Communications Advisor Leslie Gilliam said. 

Gilliam also stated, “We are asking area businesses and other organizations to consider buying by the case for employees, customers, or for donations to teachers, first responders or any other group they want to support.” 

“We hope our community will rally to support our girls and take these off our hands before summer,” said Gilliam. 

The nearly 720,000 boxes of cookies don’t expire until September, so there’s still time for cookie lovers to buy and enjoy them, but with warmer weather coming soon, there’s a time crunch against hot temperatures in the warehouse. 

So, what happens to the boxes that aren’t sold before summer?  Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta will send cookies to their military partners in the U.S. and overseas. 

On Tuesday, the troop got some good news when DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond revealed that the county would be buying around 20,000 boxes of cookies from local troops. 

“This is not simply about buying Girl Scout cookies,” he said in a news release reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “This is about investing in the future of young girls in DeKalb County. Without the cookie program, many girls from low-income households could not afford to participate in Girl Scouts. Every box sold gives a girl a greater opportunity to lead and succeed.” 

With all the hype that surrounds Girl Scout cookies, the fact that it is first and foremost a charity organization is often overlooked.  The money raised from cookie sales is typically used to help fund community service projects and provide financial assistance to families sending their daughters to Girl Scout camp. 

Girl Scouts in the Atlanta area aren’t alone in their quest to sell boxes of cookies that have been left behind at the end of a challenging season.  

A Girl Scouts USA spokesperson told Food Today that it’s a widespread issue for many troops across the country. “While Girl Scout Cookie season 2021 hasn’t ended yet and will continue into May in some markets, we can share that 2021 sales have been down nationally from years past.  This is largely due to the fact that, historically, the majority of cookies sales come from girls selling in-person versus digital – whether that be a physical booth, selling cookies at a family member’s workplace, or going door-to-door in the community.” 

Troops across the country have been focused on the safety of their members and have come up with some creative solutions, including drive-through and virtual cookie booths on social media. 

Some Girl Scout troops have also teamed up with Grubhub to provide another way to facilitate contact-free cookie delivery.