It's Girl Scout Cookie time!
Thin Mints, Tagalogs and other scrumptious Girl Scout Cookie varieties are now for sale in many parts of the country as the 2021 Girl Scout Cookie season kicks off. And for the first time, online cookie ordering will be available nationwide starting Feb. 1.
This means that even "consumers who don’t know a Girl Scout can still purchase cookies from a local troop for direct shipment to their homes or donation to local organizations," according to a release from Girl Scouts of the USA.
Beginning Feb. 1, you can enter your zip code into the Girl Scouts Cookie Finder to purchase cookies from a troop in your area.
“Like other people running small businesses, Girl Scouts are growing their cookie sale online to connect to consumers who may be harder to reach during the pandemic, all while staying resilient and learning skills such as money management, goal setting, and customer service,” Judith Batty, interim CEO of the GSUSA, said in a statement. “We are excited to open virtual cookie booths beginning February 1 to customers who don’t know a Girl Scout so they can still support girls during this challenging time for all of us.”
GSUSA has also partnered with the food delivery service GrubHub to process contact-free orders.
"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," the GSUSA said in the release. "As always, the proceeds benefit the troop and council while providing another innovative way to safely run the cookie program virtually."
GrubHub ordering will be available in select markets to start, with more markets being added during cookie season. GrubHub will be offering free delivery on Girl Scout cookie orders through Feb. 14 with a minimum purchase of $15.
Many Girl Scouts of USA councils launched their annual cookie sales Jan. 8, with others beginning later this month.
In-person cookie sales have become more difficult during the pandemic, so Girl Scouts councils around the country have been embracing online alternatives, including the Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania chapter.
"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 western Pennsylvania quickly pivoted their sales methods," the chapter said in a recent release.
"From running virtual cookie booths on social media to collecting donated cookies for local medical professionals, nursing home staff, and many other essential workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, girls as young as five years old are continuing to embrace their entrepreneurial spirits and stay connected to their communities by participating in the cookie program," the chapter added.
In Girl Scouts councils around the country, many girls are selling cookies through personalized Digital Cookie sites, which allow girls to personalize their marketing strategies, as well as share their progress and plans for their earnings.
There are still physical cookie booths available in some locations nationwide, depending on local COVID-19 regulations. You can find a cookie booth in your area using the Girl Scouts' zip code search tool.
Last year, the COVID-19 pandemic hit the U.S. during peak Girl Scout Cookie season, forcing the organization to suspend all its in-person activities and events to comply with public safety guidelines. But GSUSA soon made its beloved cookies available for sale on the organization's website.
“For 108 years, Girl Scouts has been there in times of crisis and turmoil,” Girl Scouts of the USA CEO Sylvia Acevedo said in a statement at the time. "And today we are stepping forward with new initiatives to help girls, their families, and consumers connect, explore, find comfort, and take action.”
GSUSA also launched a campaign called the Girl Scouts Cookie Care program, which allows customers to order the cookies — which cost $5 per box — to be delivered right to their homes. Start by visiting the organization's website and entering your zip code to see a list of nearby options.
Don't want the cookies for yourself? You can also buy them to donate to first responders, volunteers and other community heroes.
The organization called its popular Girl Scout Cookie Program the "financial lifeblood" that helps Girl Scout councils deliver life-changing programming to 1.7 million girls.
Acevedo said, “By buying and donating cookies, Girl Scout Cookie fans are helping sustain our life-changing programs for girls — and bringing joy and comfort to those on the frontlines of this crisis."
EDITOR'S NOTE (Jan. 12, 2021, 10:52 a.m. EST): This article has been updated with additional information about the 2021 Girl Scout Cookie season.