Why Period Products?
That time of the month. Menstruation. Period. Shark Week. Aunt Flo…
Whatever you call it, it’s a natural part of life for half the world’s population. Many of us take the tampons and pads we use during our periods for granted. If we happen to be out and about without a tampon or pad when Aunt Flo comes to town, we run to the nearest store to buy our favorite brand. But these products are expensive, and many can’t afford to buy as many as they need, or any at all. We’re addressing this issue by collecting donated tampons and pads, working with almost forty nonprofit organizations in the area to get these products to the people who need them.
The Monthly is a new project of the DC Diaper Bank that addresses this need.
We see these small pieces, such as providing a family with diapers or period products, as a piece of the larger puzzle. When financial stress is relieved from one area, a family is able to redirect those resources to something else, perhaps to food, transportation, or savings, which may help alleviate the pressure of poverty and increase quality of life.
Why Period Products?
- Menstruation is costly. Not only are tampons and pads roughly $7 per box, but in many states, including Washington, DC, they are also taxed as luxury items. Several recent articles have estimated the “cost of being a woman” at thousands of dollars over a lifetime.
- We’re shocked they are taxed this way too! Take a look at our testimony to the DC Council to remove sales tax on diapers, period products, and adult diapers.
- Menstrual hygiene products are rarely donated to shelters and food banks. They are often forgotten and overlooked as being an essential, basic material need for people who have periods.
- On top of it all, when products are available at these locations, many may be either unaware of their availability or too embarrassed to ask for them, adding another barrier.
- Just like diapers, tampons are not covered by an assistance programs.
- Without access to tampons and pads, some are forced to use make-shift alternatives, and are at increased risk for health complications.
- Want to know more? Check out our post of must read/see articles.
By contributing to the Monthly – through donations, discussions, and community engagement – you can make the DC metro area a better place for all. You’ll relieve someone from worry, shame and fear during that time of the month and raise awareness in our community about the social, economic, and health barriers faced by those living in poverty in the our area.