In March, we were excited to announce our new partnership with the St. Louis Area Diaper Bank to distribute 100,000 period products to Little Bit students over the coming months. “Many individuals are unaware of the fact that period poverty in the U.S. is real, and St. Louis students are experiencing period poverty at a higher rate than previous years because of the pandemic,” said Muriel Smith, Executive Director of St. Louis Area Diaper Bank, in a statement.
In fact, a 2019 study by SLU revealed that 21% of low-income women and girls surveyed in St. Louis lack menstrual hygiene supplies on a monthly basis, a problem only exacerbated by the pandemic. Government benefits cannot be used to buy period products, and they are taxed in a higher sales bracket. Additionally, only three states require schools to provide menstrual products in restrooms for free. As a result, many women and girls make do with cloth, rags, paper towels or even diapers during their monthly cycle.
“It’s not only a matter of health and hygiene for our students, but also one of dignity, which is a core value of our mission and not something they should have to sacrifice,” says Rosemary Hanley, Little Bit CEO and Co-Founder.