In a bid to fight period poverty, it has been revealed this week that both Morrisons and Lidl have launched services that provide free period products.
Lidl’s initiative is only in Ireland for now, but the scheme means that shoppers can access a coupon on the Lidl Plus app which can be used to buy sanitary products like pads and tampons for free in 168 of their stores across Ireland.
The supermarket has also committed to making quarterly donations of sanitary products to the Simon Communities of Ireland to ensure people experiencing homelessness and therefore may not have access to a smartphone can also access the free products.
Morrisons has also been congratulated for its new venture to offer free period products to those in need. Customers need simply to head to the customer service kiosk and ask for a package that Sandy has left for you – the staff know this code and will discreetly supply you with what you need, no questions asked.
The only drawback is that Morrisons’ scheme is not currently running nationwide and it’s not yet clear which stores are taking part in the initiative so you would have to check with your local store first. However, Morrisons has confirmed that it is considering rolling out the scheme across the country – fingers crossed that happens soon so more people can access the products they need.
Period poverty is defined as the inability to afford the monthly cost of essential sanitary products and it’s more common than you might think. Research shows one in 10 girls across the UK have been unable to afford period products at some point; double that figure have used a less suitable product because they can’t afford proper products.
Activist Amika George launched her #FREEPERIODS campaign in 2017, which has led to the government to making period products free in all schools, but this still leaves a vast number of girls and women without the products they need every month, making schemes like those by Lidl and Morrisons still necessary.