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Crunch time: Girl Scouts in western Washington trying to sell thousands of boxes of cookies

The pandemic slowed cookie sales in western Washington, which the Girl Scouts rely on to help fund programs.

LACEY, Wash. — The Girl Scouts of western Washington are approaching a century of youth leadership development and are hoping cookie fans haven't forget about them during the pandemic.  

The girls typically sell around 5 million boxes of cookies in front of grocery stores over a three-week period. But the pandemic created a complicated twist to the scouts most significant annual fundraiser.  

You likely know the Girl Scouts stand outside grocery stores selling cookies each spring, but you perhaps didn’t know that the the biggest source of funding. The Girl Scouts set goals, practice money management, and create unique marketing ideas.  

Megan Ferland, CEO of Girls Scouts of western Washington, says that each box of unsold cookies represents money they won’t have to fund programs like science, emergency preparedness, mental health, and other vital life skills that the Girl Scouts have been fostering for generations. 

The sales were cut short in 2020 due to COVID-19. Online sales have been successful but not entirely effective. A significant shortfall in sales means a substantial cutback for the Girl Scouts and the thousands of young females who count on them.  

With the need to sell hundreds of thousands of boxes in the next month, a partnership with local grocery stores like QFC has grown. All 56 QFC locations in western Washington are selling the Girl Scout cookies inside their stores with 100% of the proceeds going back to the scouts.  

Girl Scout cookies are available at QFC until May 30 and you can also purchase at some select Thriftway and Red Apple markets.  You can find your nearest option at www.GirlScoutsWW.org/findcookies.