The Island Food Pantry, Dukes County Social Services, and the Martha’s Vineyard Family Planning Clinic were the recipients of more than 350 boxes of high-quality, organic menstrual products. The many products were donated to them by the Friends of Family Planning monthly Tide Project, made possible through community donations and partnerships with Conroy’s Apothecary and Cronig’s Market.
Menstrual products, which are often a costly burden to women, are not covered by government benefits. Most women will experience over 450 menstrual cycles in their life, at a cost of thousands of dollars for pads and tampons needed, not to mention the additional costs of medication, replacement underclothing, heating pads, and other such necessary supplies, as well as the potential lost wages and time off that can add to costliness of menstrual cycles. Terre Young, president of the Friends of Family Planning, explained in a press release that Kayte Morris, executive director of the Island Food Pantry, informed the Friends of Family Planning that neither WIC nor SNAP coupons can be used to purchase menstrual products.
“Feminine hygiene products are some of the most sought-after and least donated items at the pantry,” Morris said. The limited products donated regularly to the pantry by the Greater Boston Food Bank fly off the shelves. The donation by Friends of Family Planning through their monthly Tide Project will support visitors to the Island Food Pantry, Dukes County Social Services, and Martha’s Vineyard Family Planning Clinic for the next two months.
“It’s really wonderful to be a part of a community that cares so deeply and holistically about each other,” Morris said.
The Tide Project is only funded for a few months, but with the popularity among recipients, those involved hope to continue and expand the initiative.