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. In fact, it is estimated that 1 in 4 teens has missed class for lack of a maxi-pad or tampon.
Much like diapers, period supplies are not covered by most federally funded public assistance programs because they are not food items. And with budgets already stretched, particularly in this era of COVID-19, it can be hard to find the extra dollars needed to purchase them. Not to mention that a global cotton shortage has created supply chain and product procurement issues as well as rising costs.
Learn More About Period Poverty
On April 7, 2022, we hosted a virtual discussion of period poverty and period equity. Lack of access to period supplies is a major cause of absence from school and work, a mental health issue, and a gender equity issue.
Our guests included:
– Joanne Samuel Goldblum, CEO of National Diaper Bank Network (NDBN)
– Stephanie Abrahams, Director of Advocacy and Community Engagement, NCJW-Essex
– Michele Huresky, Network Impact Lead, CFBNJ
How can I help with period poverty?
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 Period Poverty Awareness
Help us spread the word by getting your organization, members, colleagues, friends and family to post. If we all amplify the same messages, we can magnify our collective efforts for big visibility and bigger success!
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. 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.