A manufacturer of Girl Scout cookies took heat last week following reports it destroyed thousands of boxes of the sweet treats that had been returned by the Scouts in California. The Scouts were refunded the purchase price of unsold cookies as is normal custom, but at certain locations, the returned cookies were crushed to prevent them from being resold.
This angered critics who complained that the cookies could have — and should have — been donated to homeless shelters for people who needed any morsel they could get.
It seems like a no-brainer to me: there are people who don’t have the money to buy food, there’s a company with food it can’t sell. A perfect combination for a donation (and, presumably, a tax deduction for the company itself).
A spokesperson for Girl Scouts of USA acknowledged to CBS News that “it’s a shame what happened in Riverside, California,” but then added, “but food gets wasted all the time.”
Really? That’s a defense? That somehow makes it better? I doubt people who don’t know where they’ll get their next morsel would appreciate a quote that sounds so flippant. But that’s just a guess on my part.
Just because food is wasted all the time doesn’t mean that any individual case of wasted food is any more acceptable. Or should it be.
Then there’s this: one of the silliest comments I saw at the CBS link came from someone complaining that donating the cookies to the homeless “wouldn’t make them healthier.” I don’t know of anyone who’d suggest that cookies are a healthy treat for homeless people. (Or anyone else, for that matter.)
But if your choice is to go to bed with nothing on your stomach or with a few cookies, you might begin to see how cookies might have a bit more appeal. At least, until you can find something better, more nourishing and more healthy.
Something is better than nothing when nothing is all you have.