CORRECTION: Both giveaways are on Saturday, May 15. We regret the error.

by Robin Kemp

Girls who don’t have access to tampons, pads, and other personal care items often stay home from school when they have their periods–or are forced to make do with socks, washcloths, and rolled-up toilet paper.

In an effort to end “period poverty” in Clayton and Henry Counties, State Rep. Sandra Scott will be handing out free feminine hygiene kits to girls in need.

The items, which eventually filled up most of Scott’s living room, were donated by local residents and even some people from out of state and will be distributed in drawstring bags. Other personal hygiene items are also included.

Drive-through sites

The first giveaway for school families in District 76 is Saturday, May 15, from 10 a.m. to 12 noon at Morrow High School, 2299 Old Rex Morrow Road in Morrow.

The second giveaway for school families in District 76 is Saturday, May 15, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Stockbridge High School, 1151 Old Conyers Road in Stockbridge.

Both events are drive-through and supplies are limited. For more information, call (678) 283-7149

School supplies

Clayton County Public School health clinics also provide free feminine hygiene products to girls, according to spokesman Ronald Jones-Shields, thanks to an approximately $30,000 Feminine Hygiene Grant during the 2020 fiscal year. “This is done through collaborative efforts between the Department of School Counselors and the Department of Student Services,” Jones-Shields said.

Jones-Shields said school districts are allocated funds “based on the percentage of students grades 6 and above who qualify for free or reduced lunch. The legislature’s intent for these funds is that they are used for students in schools who qualify as economically disadvantaged.”

For fiscal year 2021, however, the Georgia General Assembly grant to Clayton County was $16,783–about half as much as the previous year.

Get the facts about menstruation

The Mayo Clinic has advice on how to prepare girls for what to expect before they start menstruation at https://mayocl.in/3w6fmGD.

So does OurBodiesOurselves.org, the modern-day iteration of the famous Boston Women’s Health Collective book about women’s bodies.

May 28 is Menstrual Hygiene Day.

Learn more about ending period poverty at period.org.