Red Cross partners with tissue manufacturing sector and Share the Dignity to reduce period poverty

Olive Muhorakeye holds some of the donated sanitary products that will be distributed to the community.  (ABC South East SA: Sandra Morelllo)

A regional Australian Red Cross office is spearheading an initiative to end period poverty by providing free sanitary products to people who menstruate who cannot afford the necessary sanitary items.

Limestone Coast Red Cross – located in South Australia – has taken delivery of a pallet of products following a donation organised by Share the Dignity and tissue manufacturing giant Kimberly-Clark Australia.

Regional manager David Walshaw says period poverty is a significant issue in the region.

"We want to give people, women and girls, access to sanitary products and also along with safe, hygienic places to use them," Mr Walshaw said.

Period products donated to Share the Dignity. (Supplied: Kimberly-Clark Australia)

In a survey commissioned by period poverty charity Share the Dignity, it was found that more than 1 in 5 people who menstruate have had to improvise with how they manage their period due to the cost of sanitary products.

Mr Walshaw says access to period products is vital for people experiencing financial difficulties.

"People will be able to turn up at the [Red Cross] office … and, discreetly across the counter, talk to someone and obtain as much product as they need."

Limestone Coast Australian Red Cross regional manager David Walshaw. (ABC South East SA: Sandra Morello)

Mr Walshaw said the service would monitor demand for sanitary products.

"Once we've established that, we'll look to opening it up further and, more importantly, across other towns in the region," he said.

The menstruation products will be available for those in need at the Mount Gambier Australian Red Cross and items can also be delivered.

Tissue sector support

Kimberly-Clark spokesperson Annelise Tregoning said the company proudly supported Share the Dignity.

"Kimberly-Clark and our period care brand U by Kotex have been focused on addressing period poverty in Australia for a very long time," Ms Tregoning said.

"Every year we proudly support Share the Dignity and its partners to distribute much-needed period care products to those who need it."

Since January 2021,  the company has donated more than 20,000 packs of pads and tampons.


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