Youth activists from PERIOD. in 50 states have launched a new effort called “Free The Period” with the goal of raising awareness about period poverty and providing menstrual hygiene products to women across the U.S.
PERIOD. is part of the Menstrual Movement, which is a plan of action advocating to make period products accessible to all people. The movement aims to educate people about period health and the period stigma.
The “Free The Period” is a menstrual product collection drive and fundraising initiative this holiday season, with over 120 registered drives across the country. It’s the first-ever nationally coordinated grassroots campaign on periods that includes collecting menstrual products.
“Drives are a really strong way to start conversations about period poverty in local communities, and encourage people to be hands-on in the fight to serve periods,” Nadya Okamoto, Founder of PERIOD., told Metro.
Okamoto added, “Menstrual hygiene is a need that is so often overlooked, mostly because menstruation is so stigmatized we don’t think or talk about it, so especially during the holiday giving season we’re excited to mobilize collection drives for period products across the country. So far, we have over 100 drives registered and counting!”
Local teams will be working with local businesses, schools, and other community organizations to donate to period products to local shelters. Their goal is to serve one million periods by the end of the year.
According to some recent statistics, one in five teens are unable to afford period products, which can lead to missed time in class, stress, and health risk. The study also brought to light that the average menstruator will spend $11,000 in their lifetime.
“The data is staggering. It is clear that period poverty has become a human rights issue and is holding menstruators back from reaching their full potential,” said Ameer Abdul, Policy Coordinator for PERIOD. Said in a press release.