Feminine Hygiene Products
One aspect of women’s homelessness is not often discussed – the difficulty of getting your period while living rough. Limited access to sanitary products means homeless women are often forced to choose between buying sanitary products or other essential items like food.
Established in 2015, Essentials 4 Women SA (E4WSA) has been working to provide women and girls with access to the essential, but costly, items of feminine hygiene including sanitary pads, tampons and new underwear.
E4WSA provides free products to women experiencing or at risk of homelessness, or otherwise experiencing hardship including domestic violence.
In the 18 months E4WSA have been operating, they have collected over 150,000 products for women in need.
These products are collected via public donation drives that have over 60 drop-off points across South Australia. At the completion of a campaign E4WSA collect all the donations and hold a volunteer packing day to create Period Packs. Each Period Pack contains a mixture of pads, tampons, liners, PocoPouches, overnight pads and a small chocolate.
Two things that make E4WSA unique is that they are a fully volunteer run charity and predominately receive product (not financial) donations. The two costs associated with creating the Period Packs at the end of a campaign are the resealable bags and the PocoPouches which are sanitary disposal pouches.
E4WSA applied to UCF for a small grant of $1,956 to purchase 1200 packets from PocoPouch at a discounted price.
UCF directors were pleased to approve this application to help women and girls at risk of homelessness with these essential items.