Dubuque non-profit partners with local organizations to make period products more accessible to middle and high school students
DUBUQUE, Iowa (KCRG) - Crystal Luna is currently a student at the University of Dubuque, but just a couple of years ago, she was a high school student at Hempstead. That is when she first heard of the Red Basket Project, a local group that makes period products more accessible to people in the community.
”Being a girl you do not always know when you are going to get your period and so having this accessible and having in all of our bathrooms made it super easy for us,” she mentioned.
Now she and her sorority sisters are partnering with the Red Basket Project to put together “period packs,” small bags with products like tampons, pads, and wipes.
Co-founder Beth Gilbreath said the non-profit started when they realized there was not anyone else providing period products to those that could not afford them. However, they then learned the need was even bigger.
”We received a call from a guidance counselor at Hempstead High School that said they have high school girls not attending school when they are menstruating,” she revealed. “We were shocked.”
According to Walmart’s website, a pack of tampons could cost close to ten dollars there, a price Gilbreath said some Dubuque students just cannot afford. So now they can get them free.
Products in the period pack are enough to last through one menstrual cycle. Gilbreath mentioned in 2021 they distributed more than $58,000 in products to the community.
”When people are menstruating and they do not have the products they need, that is a health concern and it is also a matter of dignity,” Gilbreath added. “By providing the products it just lets people continue to participate in life: go to school, go to work, enjoy life.”
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