Pink maxi pads, liners, and tampons stacked up with washcloths and towels

What Is Period Poverty?

Period poverty is the lack of access to sanitary products, toilets, menstrual hygiene education, hand washing facilities, and/or waste management (American Medical Women’s Association, October 2019). Lack of access to these period supplies is closely tied to poverty and under-resourced communities. It often results in stress and shame, as well as time lost from school and work.

Much like diapers, period supplies are not covered by most federally funded public assistance programs because they are not food items. Period poverty is a public health issue, resulting in mental health issues including feelings of shame, hopelessness, and isolation, as well as poor bodily hygiene and significant risks to physical well-being.

Learn More About Period Poverty

The Lunch and Learn on May 23rd, 2023 can be found below. Distinguished speakers included:

  • Jennifer Gaines, Program Director, Alliance for Period Supplies
  • Stephanie Abrahams, Director of Advocacy and Community Engagement, NCJW-Essex
  • Dr. Thelma Witherspoon, Westminister Christian Center, Atlantic City
  • Denyelle Burgess, Impact Programs Manager, CFBNJ

You can also watch last year’s discussion on YouTube.

How Can I Help?

Together we can educate our neighbors about this often-hidden public health issue—one that affects thousands of people here in New Jersey.

The Community FoodBank of New Jersey is the state’s largest anti-hunger and anti-poverty organization, is a member of Feeding America® and a founding allied program of the National Diaper Bank Network’s Alliance for Period Supplies (APS). Our Period Initiative provides period supplies to low-income, homeless and sheltered people across CFBNJ’s service area.

Raise Awareness

Period Poverty Awareness Week is May 22 – May 28, 2023. Help us spread the word by getting your organization, members, colleagues, friends and family to participate in our annual #GreatPeriodProductDrive. If we all amplify the same messages about period poverty on social media, we can magnify our collective efforts for big visibility and bigger success!

You can also take immediate action by voicing your support for A1349, proposed New Jersey legislation with bipartisan support that would provide free menstrual products in school bathrooms. You can learn more about A1349 here with this downloadable flyer from NJCW/Essex.

Virtual Period Product Drive

$25 donated can provide a year’s worth of maxi pads for our neighbors in need. With its enormous purchasing power, CFBNJ can procure more pads per dollar than any individual alone. Some people in your community may want to skip the store and elect to help our neighbors in need through a virtual period product drive.

Host a Period Product Drive

Bring your community together and host a period product drive to collect maxi pads and liners. Our toolkit, linked in the sidebar, provides several ideas and materials you might need. We also provide a Period Equity Packing Kit for those who’d like to get the community together to make up bags containing much-needed supplies. Our CFBNJ locations in Egg Harbor Township and Hillside will accept your donation. Please tell us your timetable too so we’ll be expecting your items. Register your period product drive at the contact form below.

    Primary Contact Information

    Event Information

    Address Information

    Product Drive Type