In 2019, pre-pandemic, a study found that 84% of high school students either had themselves, or knew someone personally, who had missed school because they did not have access to the hygiene products necessary to manage their periods. More recently published studies find that in the US, 40% of people who menstruate experience period poverty.
When students miss school, every month, due to normal bodily functions, they are not only at risk of failing and dropping out, but also they miss breakfast and lunch. When adults experience period poverty, they risk losing not just wages but also their jobs.
In our first pass at providing period kits through our new On The Spot program, between Sept. 1 and Dec. 1, we distributed 4600 period kits to schools and organizations in Bladen, Hoke, and Robeson Counties. This program is designed to offer a long-term solution to a poverty-based problem in our communities.
Participants receive enough products to manage the average period along with a period tracker with instructions. Participants are encouraged to take kits each month as well as take kits home for people who live in their households who might also benefit from period products.