A different kind of poverty that you can help cure locally

There are different types of poverty that may affect you or someone you know in one way or another: situational, generational, absolute, relative, urban, and rural. Some people find themselves in one or more types of poverty at some point during their lives. However, there is another type of poverty that is not widely discussed yet it affects nearly 2/3 of all women in the United States and an estimated 500 million people worldwide, and you have the ability to help cure in our Parish.

“Period Poverty” refers to the prevalent phenomena of being unable to afford products such as sanitary pads, tampons, or liners to manage menstrual bleeding.

Research has found that not only does this type of poverty affect 2/3 of women in the U.S., but also nearly half of them had to choose between buying food or menstrual products for themselves and female family members. Unfortunately, these types of products are not covered under food stamps and SNAP benefits and can be heavily taxed. As of June 2019, 35 of our 50 states in the U.S. taxed menstrual products at rates between 4.7 % in Hawaii up to 9.9% in Louisiana.  

Research also shows that mental health challenges such as depression and low self-esteem and physical health risks such as infections which can be severe if not treated quickly and properly, are byproducts of this type of poverty caused by using products other than those that are safe, reliable, and made specifically for this purpose.

In an effort to alleviate “Period Poverty” in Sabine Parish, the Parish Health Unit is accepting donations of supplies to make Period Kits to be distributed on an as-needed basis. They are asking for sanitary pads, panty liners, tampons, and feminine hygiene wipes. DONATED SUPPLIES CAN BE DROPPED OFF IN THE PINK BOX INSIDE MANY CITY HALL FROM 7:30 AM UNTIL 4:30 PM, MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY. If you need to have your donations picked up or have any questions, please email Tenille.Jenkins@la.gov or call 318-609-9899. 

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