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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – A group of women in Macon, are making sure young women and teenage girls have everything they need for that time of month.
The organization, Macon Periods Easier, says the county is experiencing a period poverty, which is lack of menstrual product access due to financial constraints.
Many students in Macon-Bibb County, like Nautica Howard, go to their school’s nurse’s office every month. Not because they’re sick, but because they need menstrual products.
“Most girls in our school don’t have the opportunity to get feminine products,” Howard said.
Northeast High School’s nurse, Deborah McCarthy, says each day more than eight girls stop in her office for pads, tampons, or wipes that she was supplying with her own money.
“Girls are just not prepared for their cycles because they don’t know when it’s going to come on. They’re not prepared because there’s not the money to buy the products and keep them on hand,” Shameeka Brooks, who’s with Macon Periods Easier, said.
Macon Periods Easier is an organization raising awareness for period poverty. They help give students in need and the homeless community free feminine products.
Abby Noble with Macon Periods Easier says, schools need more sex education classes, so students can better understand how their body works.
“Just normalize the conversations surrounding periods. Half of our population has a period at some point in their lives. It should be something we can talk about without getting nervous and without getting worried,” Noble said.
Nobel says Macon’s concentrated poverty rate is the third highest in the nation. She says women and girls in low-income setting are forced to spend money on other necessities, and not feminine products.
Which leaves students like Howard grateful to have someone looking out for young women. “Somebody actually cares and somebody takes the time out to get us everything we need,” Howard said.
Noble says other organizations can help gather menstrual products like pads and tampons, and contact Macon Periods Easier to arrange a pick-up.
Macon Periods Easier will then distribute them to schools, parks and rec, and Daybreak.