If you are a girl at Black River Falls High School, you might have noticed sitting next to the sinks, cute metal baskets in the girl’s restrooms filled with multi brand, multi colored feminine products in a variety of sizes and shapes, all lined in neat rows, labeled “free to anyone who needs them.”
A big thanks goes to several Black River Falls High school teachers including special education teacher Catie DalCerro and science teacher Lindsey Lewis, who did much of the leg work and pitched in their own cash to provide students with this needed resource.
“School provides toilet paper and paper towels and soap, but not the feminine products,” said Lewis.
Many girls may have difficulty purchasing these products due to the cost.
“I thought they were nice that you could just like, grab one or take some home if you need them,” said Junior Becca Hudson.
This isn’t just an issue for BRFHS girls but this is a big issue all around the world. Statista.com reports that in 2018, 37.4 billion in US dollars worldwide was spent on feminine hygiene products and it is estimated that by 2023 it will rise to 52 billion dollars.
“It is a financial strain for some people. And even if it’s not, it’s just a stressful thing when you don’t have what you need,” said Lewis.
According to Huffpost.com, women from the ages of 13-51 will spend an average of $18,000 dollars in their lifetimes on a variety of feminine products. In this study by Huffpost, it is reported that the average cost for tampons in a woman’s lifetime will be around $2,000 dollars, and these costs are associated with the generic tampons. Organic tampons can cost upwards of $3.00 or $6.00 dollars more per box.
Organic feminine products have become more popular recently because they are healthier and all-around safer for women to use, therefore increasing out of pocket expenses for women.
From the words of excitement that were expressed during passing times in bathrooms, many girls had great reactions to seeing these products for the first time.
“Well I initially smiled right away I thought it was really cute,” said student Summer Rofsholm. Along with the products, staff members put inspiring quotes, little paper bags to use for take-home supplies, and a sign saying, “Need some for the night or weekend? Please take some! “
The staff members involved are hoping this idea will spread to different locations as well.
“We are kind of hoping it will grow into the middle school bathrooms. We were talking about putting together kits that could go home for students that are virtual,” Lewis.