Providing period supplies reduces stress, provides confidence and dignity for young women.
We all probably have one: that embarrassing moment from our middle or high school days that turned our faces red and left us with emotional scars. While we can make light of how hard this phase of life is, it’s important to recognize the ways we can change this and support youth struggling in today’s societies.
When a girl living in poverty starts her period, this can create an automatic barrier to continuing education. There, unfortunately, is a negative stigma around menstruation, and not having adequate supplies can make a young woman feel embarrassed or anxious about leaking.
Period supplies, like diapers, are an often overlooked necessity that people living in poverty struggle to afford. In our country, 12.7% of the population nationwide is living at or below the recognized poverty level.
Yet, the programs are not in place to ensure adequate supply. Period products cannot be obtained with SNAP or WIC benefits, and many people simply do not think of the need when making in-kind donations to local organizations.
Our period products program supports various local schhols, including the Green Bay District.In the Green Bay School District, 1 in every 22 students during the 2018-19 school year were homeless, as according to new reports citing Wisconsin Department of Instruction data.
Across the city, the poverty rate is 17.2%, higher than the state poverty rate of just 12.3%. What’s more, females living in Green Bay are 30% more likely than males to be struggling with poverty, according to WelfareInfo statistics.
The need is ongoing, every month a girl living in poverty is faced with difficult decisions on whether to go to school because she doesn't have items needed to support her period. Meeting her basic need for period supplies can help restore her dignity and confidence as she pursues education.
With period supplies available, she can have the confidence to go to school, work, sports, and so on — without feeling anxious or embarrassed.