Period poverty refers to the common situation of being unable to afford products such as pads, tampons, or liners to manage menstrual bleeding. Instead of menstrual products, many females are forced to use items like rags, paper towels, toilet paper, or newspaper which can adversely affect their health.
This week (5/25/20-5/31/20) marks Period Poverty Awareness Week, a week created to educate people about the issue of period poverty and the significant impact it has on women and girls.
One in five females in the United States struggles to purchase menstrual products monthly or cannot purchase them at all, and one in four teens miss class due to lack of access to products. It is a serious public health issue and can be a barrier to education.
As part of an ongoing project called “Girls Supporting Girls. Period” that raises awareness about period poverty and advocates for mental equity, Youth Volunteer Corps middle and high school students packaged over 400 “period kits“ containing menstrual products for girls in need.
The kits will be distributed with school lunches at several locations around Reading this week in honor of Period Poverty Awareness Week. Students also created a public service announcement to launch their awareness and education campaign. The PSA can be viewed at https://youtu.be/QzFMz8rypJA and information on what others can do to help can be found at voiceupberks.org/periodpoverty.
Last year, the “Girls Supporting Girls. Period” project was named the 2019 Project of the Year across the international Youth Volunteer Corps (YVC) network. YVC has more than 30 affiliates throughout the U.S. and Canada, with over 4,000 projects taking place each year, and only one project receives this top honor.