Imagine facing this month’s period without adequate funds to buy the necessary personal hygiene supplies.
For one in four menstruating women, this is reality. But a Lake County-based nonprofit already well-known for fighting “diaper need” now is prepared to help on this front as well.
Ann Marie Mathis, founder and executive director of Twice As Nice Mother & Child, said she knew that the National Diaper Bank Network had forged a partnership with the Alliance for Period Supplies in 2018.
“We applied for membership to the Alliance in March to distribute period supplies, and we were accepted,” says Mathis. “We received a huge donation from U by Kotex in mid-April, including 48,000 pads and 55,000 liners, which helped us launch our program.”
TANMC will supply up to 50 kits per month to its 30 local partnering agencies. Volunteers are already distributing kits to those who receive ser vices through TANMC’s mobile diaper pantry program, which has grown to serve nearly 1,500 children and 1,100 families each month.
“Most people don’t realize that period poverty is an issue for many women and girls,” explains Mathias. “The average woman spends 2,535 days on her period throughout her lifetime. For the one in four who struggles with period poverty, that’s a big source of stress. It can also be unsanitary and can prevent some women from attending classes or going to work.”
Mathis explained that there has been an uptick in general need because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In its diaper program alone, TANMC has seen skyrocketing demand since March as unemployment numbers spiked upward. Current distribution is nearly 90,000 diapers per month.
“That pushed me to take a step back and think about this. Nobody around here is doing anything like this, so I saw this as an opportunity to fill a gap,” she says.
Mathis also notes that recipients were very grateful when volunteers began distributing the period supply kits at mobile diaper pantry sites this month.
“This is another way for us to support our clients by meeting a basic need,” she exclaims. “We are excited about our partnership with the Alliance for Period Supplies and look forward to their continued support of our period supply program. Clearly, there is a need here in Lake County.”
For more information on Twice As Nice Mother & Child or to make a donation, visit twiceasnicemc.org.