The Alliance for Period Supplies Program (APS) is a new program of the National Diaper Bank Network in conjunction with Center for Leadership Development and Advocacy that addresses this need for people with periods. We see this issue as a small piece, such as providing a family with diapers or period products, of the larger puzzle to raising the quality of life of the people we serve. When financial stress is relieved from one area, a family is able to redirect those resources to something else, perhaps to food, transportation, or savings, which may help alleviate the pressure of poverty and increase their quality of life.
Whatever you call it, it’s a natural part of life for half the world’s population. Many of us take the tampons and pads we use during our periods for granted. If we happen to be out and about without a tampon or pad when Aunt Flo comes to town, we run to the nearest store to buy our favorite brand. These are expensive and many women can’t afford to buy as many as they need or any at all. We’re addressing this issue by distributing donated tampons, liners and pads, working with a coalition of nonprofit organizations & government agencies in the area to get these products to the people who need them.
Why Period Products?
Menstruation is costly. Not only are tampons and pads roughly $7 per box, but in many states, including Philadelphia area, they are also taxed as luxury items. Several recent articles have estimated the “cost of being a woman” at thousands of dollars over a lifetime.
Menstrual hygiene products are rarely donated to shelters and food banks. They are often forgotten and overlooked as being an essential, basic material need for people who have periods.
On top of it all, when products are available at these locations, many may be either unaware of their availability or too embarrassed to ask for them, adding another barrier.
Just like diapers, tampons are not covered by any assistance programs.
Without access to tampons and pads, some are forced to use make-shift alternatives and are at increased risk for health complications.
By your utilization of the Alliance for Period Supplies Program– through discussions, and community engagement – you can make the Philadelphia area a better place for all. You’ll relieve someone from worry, shame, and fear during that time of the month and raise awareness in our communities about the social, economic, and health barriers faced by those living from low to middle incomes.
Alliance for Period Supplies Allied Programs are being added each month!
The following map identifies the locations of current Allied Programs. Click on the map to find additional details about the program, many of which are programs of local diaper banks.