International Paper, Always® and Feeding America® Join Forces To Help #EndPeriodPoverty in the U.S.
IP and Always® host event in Washington D.C. to pack period care kits to raise awareness about the issue of period poverty and support local community organizations
WASHINGTON, May 25, 2023 /3BL Media/ - International Paper (NYSE: IP) the leading global producer of planet-friendly packaging, pulp and other fiber-based products, Always®, the leader in global menstrual care, Brooke and Breanna Bennett, Co-Founders of Women in Training, Inc. (WIT), and Feeding America®, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization, joined forces in Washington, D.C. in advance of Menstrual Hygiene Day to drive awareness of period poverty in the U.S. and to pack 600 Period Care kits for donation to the Greater DC Diaper Bank and Mary’s Center.
Period poverty is the lack of access to period products and education – it affects at least 500 million women and girls globally, even in the most economically developed countries.1 In the U.S., 1 in 5 girls have missed school due to the lack of access to the period products2 – that is more than 3.5 million girls3. It’s an issue that leads to a number of problems like school truancy, reproductive issues, health risks and unnecessary shame.
Beginning on International Women’s Day in March, IP launched its award-winning Fighting Period Poverty in Our Communities program by hosting a series of period care packing and donation events across its global operations to raise awareness about period poverty and provide Period Care kits to people who need them the most. Period Care kits include period products donated by Always.
By the end of this year, IP will have hosted 50 Period Care kit packing events, and together with Always, will have provided more than 25,000 Period Care kits to people across the world in 2023.
However, donations alone cannot resolve the systemic issue of period poverty. The stigma surrounding periods can prevent those affected from voicing their needs and prevents potential solutions from being widely discussed and implemented. To date, only 22 states have passed a law to provide free period products in some capacity. There is a need for national change to solve the issue of period poverty. We applaud the leadership of Congresswoman Grace Meng for the introduction of the Menstrual Equity for All Act which would ensure people have access to free period products in federal buildings and schools.
“People are often unaware the impact period poverty is having on so many individuals in their own communities and across the nation. Millions of people in the United States and around the world lack access to period products and are forced to forego educational or employment opportunities because of it,” said Congresswoman Grace Meng. “We cannot thrive as a society or economy without the full participation and education of women, girls, and people with periods in society. That is why I am proud to reintroduce my Menstrual Equity for All Act, a whole-of-government approach that will help ensure affordable access to menstrual products so that we can end period poverty.”
As part of the event, Always recognized and honored International Paper as part of Always Period Heroes which represents people and organizations across the U.S. who have already made significant efforts to address period poverty.
“We're proud to partner with Always and Feeding America to help address the issue of period poverty and to support the Greater DC Diaper Bank and Mary’s Center," said Sophie Beckham, vice president and chief sustainability officer, International Paper. “Our Fighting Period Poverty in Our Communities program is part of our ongoing commitment to improve the lives of 100 million people as outlined in our Vision 2030 goals. As a woman and mother to a teenage daughter, I am personally passionate about this issue and resolute in our effort to drive change for women and girls.”
“Always’ brand purpose is built on the ability to foster girls’ confidence, especially during puberty. When someone isn’t properly protected during their period, it puts their confidence, dignity, and education at risk,” said Balaka Niyazee, Senior Vice President of North America Feminine Care at Procter & Gamble. “Our purpose fuels our ongoing commitment to raise awareness of the issue of period poverty, donate products, tackle stigma, and help drive systemic change. As a mother of a 12-year-old daughter, I am motivated to do more so she can enter puberty feeling supported and educated. Always is proud to continue to partner with International Paper and Feeding America – together we are advocating for the Menstrual Equity for All Act so all girls can stay confident and stay in school.”
The fight does not end here. To help #EndPeriodPoverty, we encourage everyone to contact their elected officials here and ask them to show their support for the Menstrual Equity for All Act.
IP was honored with an inaugural award from The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for this Fighting Period Poverty in Our Communities initiative.
About International Paper
International Paper (NYSE: IP) is a global producer of planet-friendly packaging, pulp and other fiber-based products, and one of North America’s largest recyclers. Headquartered in Memphis, Tenn., we employ approximately 39,000 colleagues globally who are committed to creating what’s next. We serve customers worldwide, with manufacturing operations in North America, Latin America, North Africa and Europe. Net sales for 2022 were $21.2 billion. Additional information can be found by visiting www.internationalpaper.com.
Always®, the world’s leader in menstrual protection, offers a wide range of pads, wipes and liners designed to fit different body types, period flows and preferences. For over 35 years, Always has been supporting millions of young people globally through puberty and confidence education, providing products to those in need and tackling societal barriers to girls’ confidence. Together, Always believes we can create a world where neither periods nor gender get in the way of young people reaching their full potential. Please visit www.always.com for more information.
About Feeding America®
Feeding America® is the largest hunger-relief organization in the United States. Through a network of more than 200 food banks, 21 statewide food bank associations, and over 60,000 partner agencies, food pantries and meal programs, we helped provide 5.2 billion meals to tens of millions of people in need last year. Feeding America also supports programs that prevent food waste and improve food security among the people we serve; brings attention to the social and systemic barriers that contribute to food insecurity in our nation; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Visit www.feedingamerica.org, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.
About Women in Training, Inc.
One in five American girls and young women skip school or miss work because they cannot afford sanitary pads or tampons to stay healthy and clean during their period. To alleviate period poverty, Women in Training, Inc. (WIT) provides monthly donations of WITKITS – canvas bags containing full pack of Always period products, dental and hygiene supplies to at-risk girls, young women and gender expansive youth. WIT also provides formal educational programs about menstruation and teen pregnancy prevention, and publishes the brochure, “The WIT Guide to the Menstrual Cycle.” For more information, see www.womenintraining.org
About the Greater DC Diaper Bank
Greater DC Diaper Bank (GDCDB) works to empower vulnerable families and individuals by providing an adequate and reliable source for basic baby needs and personal hygiene products across the Washington, DC metropolitan area. The Monthly is a project of Greater DC Diaper Bank that addresses period poverty by collecting donated tampons and pads, working with more than seventy-five nonprofit organizations in the area to get these products to the people who need them. Learn more information at www.greaterdcdiaperbank.org
About Mary’s Center
Mary’s Center is a community health center serving over 65,000 people of all ages, incomes, and backgrounds in the Washington, DC metro area for over 30 years. With an integrated model of health care, education, and social services, Mary’s Center offers each participant individualized care on the path toward good health, stability, and economic independence. Learn more at www.maryscenter.org
International Paper Media Contact
Amy Simpson, 901-419-4964,
1 World Bank, 2018
2 1000 U.S. females, 16-24 y.o., Research Now ‘17
3 1000 U.S. females, 16-24 y.o., Research Now ’17 & U.S. 2016 Census