The United Methodist Committee on Relief and Church World Service have launched a new joint menstrual hygiene kit initiative to provide essential health and dignity products to vulnerable communities across the U.S. The kits will be purchased and assembled by volunteers and supporters, and then distributed by UMCOR and CWS programs.
The joint initiative comes as the U.S is facing a tampon shortage and record high inflation, making it difficult for many to afford basic necessities, including period products.
“Across our programs we are seeing the impact of high costs making it more difficult for the families to afford household necessities,” said CWS President and CEO Rick Santos. “From shelters along the border to local resettlement offices across the nation, immigrants and refugees often arrive with little more than the clothes on their backs. The same can be said for families who have been affected by hurricanes and other disasters. Partnering with CWS and UMCOR to assemble these period packs is a simple way communities can support the dignity and health of those we serve as they rebuild their lives.”
“When disaster strikes, the necessities of life become difficult, if not impossible, to acquire. UMCOR has a long history of collecting and supplying relief kits to help provide care for communities experiencing crisis,” said Roland Fernandes, general secretary of Global Ministries, which includes UMCOR. “We are thrilled to work now with our longtime partner Church World Service to add menstrual hygiene kits to our relief supplies. Gifts of these and other relief kits will help those in crisis feel supported when they need it the most.”
Supplies for the kits will be purchased and assembled by congregations, community groups and individuals and then distributed through CWS and UMCOR programs across the country. Kits are easy to assemble and cost an estimated $14. Each kit includes one bar of soap, hand sanitizer, travel wet wipes, travel pack of flushable wipes, laundry detergent packs, 10 tampons, 10 sanitary napkins and trash bags.
To sign up or for information, visit https://umcmission.org/umcor-menstrual-hygiene-kit.