In our efforts to support families across East Tennessee, one critical issue often goes unnoticed: period poverty. Let’s shed light on this pressing matter, discuss insights into its impact and how Helping Mamas is actively working to alleviate it in our community.
What is Period Poverty?
Period poverty refers to the lack of access to sanitary products, menstrual hygiene education, toilets, hand washing facilities, and waste management. It’s a global issue affecting millions, including right here in East Tennessee. The inability to afford or access these necessities can lead to significant health risks, emotional distress, and limits on opportunities such as education and employment.
The Statistics Speak Volumes
The numbers around period poverty are startling. A study by the American Medical Association found that nearly two-thirds of low-income women couldn’t afford menstrual products at some point during the previous year, and 21% faced this issue every month. These figures highlight an often invisible struggle that many women and girls face regularly. These are not just numbers; they are real experiences that affect dignity, health, and quality of life.
How Helping Mamas is Making a Difference
At Helping Mamas Knoxville, we believe that access to menstrual products is a right, not a privilege. Here’s how we are combating period poverty:
- Donation Drives: We regularly organize drives to collect sanitary pads, tampons, and other menstrual hygiene products.
- Period Packs: With the help of local organizations, we create personalize period packs filled with all the essentials that are distributed out to local middle schools in our community
- Advocacy: We advocate for policy changes to make menstrual products more accessible and affordable.
How You Can Help
Combating period poverty requires a community effort. Here’s how you can contribute:
- Donate Products: Drop off menstrual hygiene products at our warehouse.
- Monetary Contributions: Monetary donations allow us to purchase products at reduced costs.
- Decorate and Stuff Period Packs: Pick-up our canvas zipper pouches, decorate them with motivating words and drawings and stuff them with 10 sanitary pads and 10 tampons
- Spread the Word: Raise awareness by talking about period poverty and sharing information.
- Volunteer: Join us in our efforts by volunteering your time for our various initiatives.
Understanding and addressing period poverty is crucial for the health and empowerment of women and girls in our community. At Helping Mamas, we are committed to this cause, but we need your help. Together, we can ensure that no one has to compromise their dignity and health due to a natural and fundamental biological process.