In the last two weeks, I’ve heard or been sent this plea three times. Once on behalf or a school, once on behalf of the school district within which I reside, and again at weekly trivia in the neighborhood grill. Our trivia host made her plea on behalf of our local food bank. Now, none of this in itself is surprising, but all three were in need of the same things! Not food, nor clothing, but personal hygiene supplies.
The most pressing needs were for toilet paper and feminine hygiene products, followed by diapers, toothpaste, shampoo, bath soap, laundry detergent, and cleaning supplies. It seems the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) or the old term food stamps can only be used for food. And while I agree food is the basic priority, I think in America we should also assist with personal cleanliness. Diseases can be easily spread from dirty hands and from disgusting filthy bathroom habits. Both of my grandmothers, who survived the Depression, not only fed their children, but made sure they went to school in clean clothes, regardless the condition of their patched jeans or oversized jackets.
This week I was sickened to hear stories about girls who wouldn’t go to school that proverbial time of the month because they had no sanitary pads, nor tampons. They didn’t want to be the laughing stock of the seventh grade. I guess if the males in this country want to control my body, they should at least give me a discount on such products once a month. I guarantee if the situation was reversed and men endured cramps and periods, things would change!
Please check with your churches, food banks, and schools to find out if the needs of your community are similar to mine. If you can help, please do so. Do unto others.