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Girl scouts in Alaska get a federal recovery loan after being left with 144,000 unsold boxes of cookies as sales crumble because of coronavirus stay-at-home orders

Girl scouts in Alaska get a federal recovery loan after being left with 144,000 unsold boxes of cookies as sales crumble because of coronavirus stay-at-home orders
  • The Girl Scouts of Alaska are stuck with 144,000 unsold boxes of cookies after efforts to contain the coronavirus outbreak shut down sales
  • The Anchorage-based girl scout council, which is supported by 1,500 volunteers, says it had to take out a federal recovery loan to continue operating
  • Prior to the state's COVID-19 mandates, people were buying up cookies and hoarding them, 'like they were toilet paper,' says a council official
  • Alaska has had 339 confirmed cases of the Coronavirus, which has been blamed for 7 deaths in the state
The Girl Scouts of Alaska are stuck with 144,000 unsold boxes of cookies after the state's efforts to contain the coronavirus outbreak shut down sales for the organization.
An Anchorage-based girl scout council says it had to seek federal recovery relief after its annual cookie sales crumbled around mid-March, as Governor Mike Dunleavy began closing businesses because of the deadly flu-like virus, also known as COVID-19. 
First National Bank Alaska facilitated the federal Paycheck Protection Program loan, The Anchorage Daily News reported Sunday. 
The Girl Scouts of Alaska are stuck with 144,000 unsold boxes of cookies after the state's efforts to contain the coronavirus outbreak shut down sales for the organization. Pictured is a stockpile of Thin Mints and Tagalongs, which are among seven varieties of cookies available
The Girl Scouts of Alaska are stuck with 144,000 unsold boxes of cookies after the state's efforts to contain the coronavirus outbreak shut down sales for the organization. Pictured is a stockpile of Thin Mints and Tagalongs, which are among seven varieties of cookies available
An Anchorage-based girl scout council says it had to seek federal recovery relief after its annual cookie sales crumbled around mid-March, as Governor Mike Dunleavy began closing businesses because of the COVID-19 outbreak
An Anchorage-based girl scout council says it had to seek federal recovery relief after its annual cookie sales crumbled around mid-March, as Governor Mike Dunleavy began closing businesses because of the COVID-19 outbreak
Prior to the state's restrictions which began on March 18th and shortly after included stay-at-home orders for non-essential workers, 'it was frenzied shopping, and people were hoarding cookies like they were toilet paper,' says Leslie Ridle, who heads the council.  
Sales of the famed cookies fund nearly everything the council does, including camps and scholarships for 3,500 girls and wages for 20 full-time employees. 
Alaska has had 339 confirmed cases of the Coronavirus, which has been blamed for 7 deaths in the state. 
Across the US, here have been 978,104 cases in the US of the coronavirus, which has been blamed for 55,059 deaths 
There have been 978,104 cases in the US of the coronavirus, which has been blamed for 55,059 deaths
There have been 978,104 cases in the US of the coronavirus, which has been blamed for 55,059 deaths 

How the number of new coronavirus cases in the US has escalated over time
How the number of new coronavirus infections in the US has escalated over time

A day-to-day look at the number of deaths in the US attributed to the coroanvirus
Alaska is now among states which have begun relaxing restrictions, approving restaurants to resume dine-in service and retail shops and other businesses to reopen their doors, with limitations.   
Girl scouts traditionally sell their cookies door-to-door and in booth sales, but have suspended both practices during the outbreak. 
Instead, the organization is selling them online and encourages consumers to buy and donate them to first responders, volunteers and local causes in need.
However, that doesn't take care of the unsold Alaska stockpile of Thin Mints, S'mores, Samoas and other cookies available.
The Girl Scouts are selling their cookies online during the coronavirus outbreak. However, that doesn't take care of the unsold stockpile of Thin Mints, S'mores, Samoas and other cookies available in Alaska, including many that are sitting in people's homes unsold
The Girl Scouts are selling their cookies online during the coronavirus outbreak. However, that doesn't take care of the unsold stockpile of Thin Mints, S'mores, Samoas and other cookies available in Alaska, including many that are sitting in people's homes unsold
'I'm hearing from lots of families: 'When am I getting these out of my living rooms?' ' Ridle said.  
People whose lives have been altered by the pandemic still want the cookies, the 'ultimate comfort food,' Ridle says.The funding allowed employees to continue working and provide online programs for Girl Scouts stuck at home, like magic trick lessons and flamenco dancing. 
A new COVID-19 badge emphasizes good hygiene.
'It's our bridge to keep things going,' Ridle said.
Meanwhile, the loan sought by the council arrived in its bank account last week, Ridle said. The amount was not disclosed.

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