Not #onemorebox of Girl Scout Cookies

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not-one-more-box-girl-scout-cookies-childhood-obesity-good-neighbor-storiesFriday is “National Girl Scout Cookie Day”, a huge media blast to alert the country to the fact that it’s time for the mega fundraising sale. The Scouts are rolling out new apps you can download to your iPhone or Android so you can find the nearest sale. There are videos, a blog, and even a way to track the cookie truck as it delivers its precious cargo in New York City.

And of course in today’s social media-driven world, there’s a one-day Facebook posting contest, and cookie lovers are encouraged to post to Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram with the hashtag of #onemorebox. As in, why you think everyone should buy one more box of Girl Scout Cookies.

I love Girl Scout Cookies as much as the next American, but I won’t buy one more box.

I made the decision last year to never buy a box of Girl Scout Cookies again. I wrote why I believe it’s time for America’s youth organizations to step up as leaders and say “no more” to children and youth selling fat- and sugar-laden foods as a fundraising mechanism in the face of a serious childhood obesity epidemic. [Read more…]

Five Ways to be a Good Neighbor in March

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Each month we offer up five suggestions of how to be a good neighbor, either in your neighborhood, the larger Bay Area, or the world. Here are five ideas for March. From encouraging children and teens, to being an urban farmer for a day, to celebrating Women’s History Month, you can make a difference this month. Got more ideas? Share them in the comments section.

  1. Encourage Courage: Kids Enjoy Exercise Now (KEEN) invites volunteers to help “coach” young special needs athletes. Each coach is paired with a child that has disabilities such as autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, or other developmental issues. The coach helps the child participate in sports activities, and have a good time while playing. There are two opportunities to serve in San Francisco on March 4 and 18, from 1 to 4:30 p.m. Sign up through handsonbayarea.org.
  2. Farmer For A Day: Full Circle Farm in Sunnyvale would love to have you come till some soil for a few hours. Or do some weeding, [Read more…]

Commentary: Why I’m Not Buying Girl Scout Cookies This Year

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I realize what I am about to say is pure heresy in the United States of America: I am not going to buy Girl Scout Cookies this year. Maybe forever.

As a fan of the tasty cookies, I do not relish my decision. However, over the last decade I have grown increasingly uncomfortable with the practice of youth sales of unhealthy products in the face on an increasingly disturbing childhood obesity epidemic.

I am not saying I will stop supporting Girl Scouts and other youth organizations. I will continue to contribute monetary donations to the organizations I’ve supported in the past through their sales. Just this past weekend I gave money to a troop selling cookies outside my local supermarket.

Why I Won’t Buy The Cookies and Why Cookie Sales Need to Stop

With near epidemic proportions of childhood obesity, Type 2 Diabetes and other dangerous diseases in the U.S., youth organizations need to take a leadership role in advocating for healthy eating and lifestyles. That means taking sugar and fat-laden products out of kids’ hands, [Read more…]