BCHD Launches Survey of ‘Period Poverty’ in Berrien County, Calls for Donations

NOW: BCHD Launches Survey of ‘Period Poverty’ in Berrien County, Calls for Donations

BERRIEN COUNTY, Mich. --Today marks the beginning of Period Poverty Awareness Week and to learn more about the local need, the Berrien County Health Department has a new survey

It’s open to county residents and all responses will remain anonymous. Berrien County Sexual Health Nurse Emmeline Schwarz says the survey responses could influence the start of new programs, like applying for grants to offer free menstrual products in the community. 

Period poverty refers to the lack of access to menstrual hygiene products due to financial issues, impacting millions worldwide, including here in our community.   

According to the Alliance for Period Supplies, 1 in 4 teens in the U.S. has missed school because of a lack of access to period supplies. Similarly, 1 in 5 low-income women miss work or other commitments for the same reason.   

In Michigan, 1 in 5 women and girls ages 12 to 44 live below the federal poverty line, struggling to afford necessities, including period products. Michigan eliminated its tax on period products back in November 2021. 

To address the issue, the Berrien County Health Department is accepting menstrual hygiene products. Schwarz says they will collect these products throughout the month of May at its Benton Harbor and Niles location.  

She describes the donation drive as empowering and fulfilling, knowing it will help young girls and women in need. 

Share this article: