Girl Scouts Heart of the South announced to its members this week that the council will buy back unsold Girl Scout Cookies from troops throughout its 59-county area. As a result of the COVID19 pandemic, the 2020 Girl Scout Cookie Program was cut-short during the booth sale season, leaving many troops with cookie inventories and no way to complete their sales.
“At a time when we are all focused on family, work, finances and health, Girl Scout Cookies should not be a financial concern to families, troops or volunteers,” said Girl Scouts Heart of the South CEO Melanie Schild. “It is with these concerns in mind that we have announced the Cookie Relief Program to relieve Girl Scout troops of any financial burden due to unsold cookie inventory.”
The 2020 Girl Scout Cookie Program was cut short due to health and safety concerns during the COVID19 outbreak. In a normally 4-week program of booth sales, only two full weeks were able to be held. The third week of the program saw a sharp decline in the number of troops continuing the public booth sites, leaving many troops with cookies on-hand and responsibility for payment. Some Girl Scouts continued sales through porch drops and other social-distancing methods of delivery but were not able to deplete their inventory with limited options of reaching customers.
“Many girls are disappointed to miss out on reaching their goals for the 2020 program. They plan their programs, trips, service projects and troop activities for the year around meeting their goals,” Schild continued. “Even through online sales and donations, troops have not been able to continue the program at the rate they had planned and prepared for.”
Girl Scouts Heart of the South serves more than 6,200 girls in west Tennessee, north Mississippi and Crittenden County Arkansas. The council expects to see a financial loss of approximately 40% of its annual cookie program income. Council proceeds from the annual Girl Scout Cookie Program remain in the local area and are used to provide program, summer camp and travel opportunities for girls, along with training and support for more than 1,700 volunteers.
“We are grateful to our communities for their continued support of the annual Girl Scout Cookie Program. We are dedicated to continuing our extraordinary programs and support for our members and will be exploring ways to reduce expenses without diminishing the Girl Scout Program Experience,” said Schild.
Local Girl Scout Service Units – a collection of troops in a particular county or geographic area, have an opportunity through the Cookie Relief Program to take possession of remaining cookie inventory, when it is safe to do so, and sell remaining cookies to the public in order to raise needed funds for local, community-based programs, girl memberships, new troop start-up funds and service unit events. Potential customers may see additional opportunities to buy cookies from the service unit efforts if safer-at-home advisories are lifted in time to do so.
“We are committed to continuing the Girl Scout Experience which prepares girls for a lifetime of leadership, success, and adventure in a safe, no-limits place designed for and by girls,” Schild stated. “No other organization in the world gives girls as many opportunities as Girl Scouts and we’ll see this short-fall through for our girls, troops and families to ensure that no family carries this financial burden while we all strive to stay healthy and safe.”
Girl Scout Troop Leaders were emailed instructions and information on Monday, April 27th and should contact Customer Care if they have any questions - firstname.lastname@example.org