Girl Scouts cookie season begins with changes

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MADISON COUNTY, Ala. – Girl Scouts of North-Central Alabama and Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) kicked off the 2021 Girl Scout Cookie season during a challenging time when many Girl Scouts are selling in creative, socially distant, and contact-free ways to keep themselves and their customers safe.

Girl Scouts of North-Central Alabama CEO Karen Peterlin says the happiest time of the year for Girl Scouts is cookie time!

No matter your favorite: Samoas, Thin Mints, Tagalongs… You may have to feed your cookie addiction a bit differently this year.

“When the pandemic struck last year, girls still had cookies to deliver and so they came up with real inventive ways to do contactless deliveries to porches, to cars, to trunks,” said Peterlin.

While traditional sales could still be found, many Girl Scouts are heading to an online platform which launched in 2014.

Girl Scouts of North-Central Alabama said in a press release that “when the COVID-19 pandemic hit in the middle of the 2020 season and girls were faced with the same challenges as other small businesses, girls in Alabama quickly pivoted their sales methods. From running virtual cookie booths on social media to setting up drive-through locations, to facilitating orders that ship directly to customers’ doors, girls as young as five years old are continuing to embrace their entrepreneurial spirits, stay connected to their communities, and have fun by participating in the cookie program. And, the proceeds from each and every purchase stay local with the troop and its council to power Girl Scouts’ essential leadership programming.”

Jacqueline and Sabrina Broadenax are the top cookie sellers in the Madison County area. They each sold 1500 boxes last season. Now, their goal is to sell between 2000 and 3000 boxes of cookies.

To meet their goal, Jacqueline is thinking ‘outside the box.’

“I think of having a booth in the neighborhood and giving the Girl Scout cookies by a box, like having a box and you social distance,” she said.

In a press release, Girl Scouts announced they are partnering with Grubhub for contactless delivery:

This season, Girl Scouts of North-Central Alabama is participating in a national collaboration with food ordering and delivery platform Grubhub so girls have an additional way to facilitate contact-free cookie orders. Starting in March, consumers can order Girl Scout Cookies for pickup or delivery on Grubhub.com or the Grubhub app. A hands-on experience in managing e-commerce, local Girl Scouts will track and fulfill orders, manage inventory, and more, all using Grubhub’s back-end technology. This method will be available in Birmingham, Florence, Huntsville, and Tuscaloosa areas. As always, the proceeds benefit the troop and council while providing another innovative way to safely run the cookie program virtually. GSUSA is grateful to Grubhub for waiving all fees for the organization to make this new delivery option feasible for sales without reducing troops’ and councils’ proceeds.

Of course, the question now is how to purchase cookies from Girl Scouts. Customers can support Girl Scouts in a few different ways:

  • If you know a registered Girl Scout, reach out to her to find out how she’s selling cookies in ways that meet local and state safety protocols.
  • If you don’t know a Girl Scout, email cookies@girlscoutsnca.org to purchase from a local Girl Scout troop online for shipment to your door or to donate cookies to first responders and local causes. You can pay for shipping and get your order in two weeks, or select contactless delivery and get your order delivered the last week of February.
  • Booth sales will begin March 5. You’ll be enter your zip code into the Girl Scout Cookie Finder at www.girlscoutcookies.org or by using the official Girl Scout Cookie Finder app for free on iOS or Android devices to find socially distant or contact-free cookie booths if they are available in your area.
  • Starting in March, visit www.grubhub.com/food/girl_scouts to order via contact-free delivery from Grubhub (available in Birmingham, Florence, Huntsville, and Tuscaloosa areas).

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