Have you ever missed work or school simply because you did not have the period supplies you needed to make it through the day? Unfortunately, this is a reality for one in four low-income women in the United States. Why is that? If you’re struggling to pay the bills or put food on the table, finding the money to pay for period supplies can feel impossible. In New Jersey, one in eight women and girls between the age of 12 and 44 (ages prime for menstruation) lives below the Federal Poverty Line.
Summit Health Cares (SHC) believes that period poverty is a fixable problem. That’s why we raised funds needed to create the Fresh Start Period Initiative – a program designed to ensure menstrual equity to prevent period poverty and to provide diapers and baby hygiene products to families who need them. This includes pads, tampons, diapers, baby wipes, soap – basic hygiene supplies that can easily be taken for granted by some, but are in dire need by others. At a recent Coffee and a Cause event, proceeds from participants’ tickets were used to start the initiative. One ticket purchase provided period supplies for five to six women for the entire year.
Here are the facts:
- Period supplies help students stay in school. One in four teens in the US has missed class due to lack of access to period supplies.
- Almost 60% of New Jersey families living in poverty experience financial distress and struggle to keep up with their bills and cover unexpected expenses.
- One in four women in the US struggles to purchase menstrual products due to a lack of income.
- In New Jersey, more than 33,000 women participate in the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program. Participants of the WIC program receive nutritious food but those living below 185% federal poverty line face challenges meeting other material basic necessities – like period supplies and diapers.
- A $25 donation can help provide menstrual supplies for one woman for an entire year.
With your help, SHC can help relieve the stress and anxiety for someone suffering from period poverty, allowing them to live their life. If you want to help close the gap for a woman in need, click here. Every dollar helps.