Hundreds of women in Southwest Florida experience ‘period poverty’
One in six women and girls between the ages of 12 and 44 live below the federal poverty line.
While many usually think of the inability to put food on the table, buy new clothes, or afford an education — many women are unable to buy products for their menstrual cycle.
Hundreds of women in Southwest Florida have been leaning on non-profits for basic period supplies, especially during the pandemic.
“Because of the mobile food pantries, we were seeing the demand double,” explained Dusti Beaubien, the President of Alliance for Period Supplies of Southwest Florida. “It was almost like overnight. We couldn’t believe it. If they can’t afford food, they can’t afford period supplies.”
Beaubien provides pads to multiple non-profit agencies in our community like St. Matthew’s House and The PACE Center for Girls.
“For so long, I believe women’s bodies and their normal biological processes have been stigmatized,” admitted Dr. Amy Miller, an instructor of Sociology a Florida Gulf Coast University. “And then add on to that the inability to afford or access menstrual products and that just adds another layer of stigmatization.”
Students at FGCU are working on an initiative that would off free menstrual products for students, faculty, and staff across the campus. They partnered with “Aunt Flow” and set up dispensers in several bathrooms and freshman dorms.
If you would like more information or would like to volunteer with the Alliance For Period Supplies of SWFL, click here.
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