Women’s Fund announces new initiative: Change the Cycle

Solving Period Poverty One Step at a Time

As part of the Women’s Fund’s philanthropic and educational initiatives, they have launched Change the Cycle, a concerted effort to solve Period Poverty, or the lack of access to affordable feminine hygiene products for women and teens. While Period Poverty is a national concern, its effects are seen right here in Lorain County. “Families struggling with food insecurity rarely have the funds to keep the family fed and even less to purchase hygiene supplies for women, especially for young, developing teens,” states Susan Bartosch, Director of External Affairs for Second Harvest Food Bank of North Central Ohio. “The pre-teen years are very crucial in all aspects of health including physical, mental, and social development.”  

1 in 5

American girls miss school due to their period

nearly 50%

of low-income women have to choose between food and hygiene supplies

The group will first tackle the need for accessible, affordable supplies for the women of Lorain County. “The outcry received when we first shared our concern over Period Poverty at our annual SHEro event was louder than we ever expected,” states Elizabeth Bosela-Bullock, Change the Cycle chairperson and Treasurer for the Women’s Fund. “We felt compelled to do more and Change the Cycle was born.”  The Women’s Fund received a grant from the UPS Foundation and will be partnering with local agencies and school districts to get feminine hygiene products into the hands of the women and girls who need it most. Secondly, the committee hopes to tackle the affordability of products for women and teens throughout the state including the ability to purchase products with SNAP benefits.

“Black and Latina women had the highest levels of period poverty in the last year and also immigrant and first-generation students also reported higher levels of period poverty.”

Dr. JHUMKA GUPTA, associate professor at George Mason University and senior author for BMC Women’s Health Study
The Women’s Fund encourages everyone, both men and women, to support this initiative by donating unopened boxes of feminine hygiene product to their favorite non-profit organization(s). Donations can be given to your organization of choice or to Community Foundation, who will arrange for distribution.
Avon/Avon Lake Community Resource Center33479 Lake Rd., Avon Lake
El Centro de Servicios Sociales2800 Pearl Ave., Lorain
Elyria YWCA318 West Ave., Elyria
Lorain County Free Clinic5040 Oberlin Ave., Lorain
Lorain County Genesis House Safe Harborc/o Community Foundation 9080 Leavitt Rd., Elyria
Neighborhood Alliance424 Earl Court, Elyria
North Ridgeville Community Care34015 Center Ridge Rd., North Ridgeville
Oberlin Community Services285 South Professor St., Oberlin
Second Harvest Food Bank5515 Baumhart Rd., Lorain
If you are interested in learning more about Period Poverty or would like to become involved in Change the Cycle, please contact the Women’s Fund at mtimko@peoplewhocare.org or call 440.984.7390.