DES MOINES, Iowa — Buying Girl Scout cookies is a highly anticipated annual event. However, this year Girl Scouts of the USA had 15 million remaining unsold boxes of cookies.
Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa is one of 111 Girl Scouts councils that are 100 percent locally funded.
This year, Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa ordered over a million boxes of cookies and only had a thousand unsold boxes by the end of the season.
When COVID-19 hit in 2020, Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa was forced to shut down its cookie program with a month left, leaving them with a warehouse filled with cookies.
This was a problem other chapters had as well. So Girl Scouts of the USA decided to make the Cookie Relief Fund. The Cookie Relief Fund is money allocated to local organizations by corporate sponsors that account for the cost of unsold boxes of cookies.
Assistant Director of Public Relations and Events for Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa, Samie Swinton, said after last year’s devastating season, its 14,000 members had a year to plan innovative ways to recover without needing to use a significant amount of corporate dollars.
“They learned about overcoming obstacles and doing touch-free ordering with their online cookie booth sales, as well as doing porch drop-offs they use Drive Thru delivery options,” Swinton said. “They rose to the challenge of trying to participate in the cookie program during COVID and came up with different ways to have the girls participate.”
Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa plans to donate the remaining cookies to Iowa food banks and shelters.