Female students at Flint Southwestern Academy get 12,000 free period supplies

Published: Mar. 8, 2021 at 2:54 PM EST
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - Medical staff in training and staff at Flint Southwestern Academy are providing thousands of free period supplies for female students to help them stay in class.

Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, the associate professor of pediatrics at Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine, is helping coordinate the delivery of over 12,000 menstrual supplies for Flint students who cannot afford them.

Organizers with the Period Poverty project said the problem often goes unreported, but nearly one in five girls miss classes because they don’t have the proper supplies to wear on their period.

“As we finally begin to welcome kids back into the classroom, we are thrilled to provide our students with this additional resource to keep them in class,” said Flint Community Schools nurse Eileen Tomasi. “Our kids already have so many stresses that make it hard to be in school and to learn; providing period supplies will hopefully be one less worry.”

Estimates show women spend about $18,000 on menstrual products over their lifetime, but government food assistance programs like WIC and SNAP do not cover the cost.

“Low-income families are challenged to choose between food, bills and health products,” shared Dr. Fatima Hussain, former pediatric resident at Hurley Children’s Hospital and primary organizer of the project. “With the lack of attention and provisions for menstrual management, many girls are unnecessarily missing school.”

Flint students can pick up the free period supplies at Southwestern Classical Academy from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesdays or from the school nurse’s office. This week will be the first distribution of the supplies.

“I grew up in a family that struggled financially, and I look forward to policies that remove the financial burden of these medically necessary items,” Michigan State University College of Human Medicine student Chrissiey Jackson said. “Until then and as students are coming back to in-person school, I’m so excited to support our Flint students.”

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