Diaper Bank of North Carolina is proud to introduce our latest initiative, On the Spot, improving access to feminine hygiene products for women and girls in our community.
Awareness has grown globally about girls and women struggling because they lack feminine hygiene products. Far less recognized is the impact of this issue right in our own community. A significant portion of low-income girls and women in the United States do not have affordable access to the products they need each month.
As with other hygiene products not covered by government programs such as WIC and SNAP (food stamps), women must make difficult trade-offs to cope with the expense of sanitary pads and tampons. They skip rent payments or go without groceries. They use fewer products at the expense of health and hygiene. They substitute by using toilet paper to line their underwear, and then worry about embarrassing accidents.
The inability to afford personal essentials increases emotional stress and stigma. It drives girls and women to miss school, work, or social engagements. And, above all, it challenges their sense of personal dignity.
At Diaper Bank of North Carolina, we believe that dignity is not a privilege.
Women and girls deserve to be able to fully participate in their lives, no matter what time of the month. On the Spot initiative allows existing community partners to offer feminine hygiene products to clients who may also be receiving diapers. Through On the Spot, we also supply Durham Public Schools at the elementary, middle and high school level with pads, tampons and girls underwear so that young women can focus on their learning instead of their basic hygiene. In 2018, we will expand our school-based intervention to a pilot site in Wilmington at our Lower Cape Fear Branch.
Reference: National study commissioned by the non-profit Feeding America (2013), In Short Supply: American Families Struggle to Secure Everyday Essentials