Girl Scouts have 15 million unsold cookies this year due to pandemic

Girl Scouts have 15 million unsold cookies this year due to pandemic
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Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Girl Scouts are contending with 15 million unsold boxes of cookies. 

Typical cookie sales were abandoned in 2020 for safety reasons as the nation locked down to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

"This is unfortunate, but given this is a girl-driven program and the majority of cookies are sold in-person, it was to be expected," Girl Scouts spokesperson Kelly Parisi told CBS News.

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As CBS notes, this drastic drop in sales will undoubtedly have a severe impact on the Girl Scouts, who depend on the sales to fund programs, trips and camps. The organization normally sells around $800 million worth of cookies every year.

Although the pandemic is believed to be the main factor in the dismal sales, CBS notes that many troops chose not to sell cookies this year in light of a report from The Associated Press that detailed the child labor that goes into the palm oil used to make the cookies.

New Jersey troop leader Gina Verdibello told CBS News that her 21-member troop decided to boycott sales this year and instead hold a protest. According to Verdibello, at least a dozen other troops that she is aware of made the decision due to the link to palm oil.

"We want to sell cookies," she told the outlet. "It's part of our thing, but this is putting kind of a damper on it."

The December report from the AP found that palm oil imported from Indonesia and Malaysia was used in a multitude of food products. Ferrero, one of the two major makers of Girl Scout cookies, was a client.

According to the AP's report, tens of thousands of children work alongside their parents for little to no pay, with some never attending school or having citizenship.