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Non-profit making feminine hygiene products more accessible, working to combat 'period poverty'

5 months 1 week 2 days ago Sunday, December 18 2022 Dec 18, 2022 December 18, 2022 4:59 PM December 18, 2022 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - A national issue is also being seen here in Louisiana — a lack of access to feminine hygiene products.

"It's a human issue, and it's also a public health issue," said Deidra Mwalimu, founder of the Network of Women NOW. "After COVID with the shutdown, the access to period products increased, so students do lack the opportunity to have access to products and food at the same time."

Feminine hygiene products have been especially difficult for college students to find. The non-profit Network of Women created a campaign in October to 'End Period Poverty'.

"We're collecting feminine hygiene products and period products for college students before the spring semester so they can start the semester off right," Mwalimu said.

They've been collecting products to help distribute to students at LSU and Southern University, but the need is greater than they thought.

"It's slowly been coming in. We do need a lot more supplies. Once products are donated to the LSU food bank, they're gone within 24 to 48 hours," Mwalimu said.

There's a donation drop off box located at The Red Shoes on Government Street asking for all feminine hygiene products, including hand sanitizer, toothpaste and body wash. Those products will be donated in "ubibi bags."

"It's Swahili. It means grand motherhood. It's the secrets that we put in this bag that we talk to our daughters about. We pass this information down generation to generation like a rite of passage, so girls should have something of their own and say, 'Hey, I'm a female, and I'm worth it," Mwalimu explained.

They're pushing to get these products donated in time for the upcoming spring semester.

If you would like to help out, you can drop off donations at The Red Shoes on Government Street, or at Athleta clothing store located at Towne Center at Cedar Lodge.

You can also make monetary donations, or check out their AmazonSmile account on their website, https://www.networkofwomennow.org/.

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