"Package for Sandy”: Morrisons local initiative goes nationwide to tackle period poverty

Date published: 03 May 2021

Morrisons is helping to fight back against period poverty by rolling out ‘Package for Sandy’ - a service available for customers in need who can access a discreet package of sanitary protection products - across all its 497 stores, including Rochdale and Heywood, to help vulnerable customers.

The Package for Sandy initiative was created and launched by Bolton Community Champion, Emma Parkinson, who saw the need for the service in her local area. The initiative is now being rolled out nationwide across all Morrisons stores in the UK in a bid to beat period poverty - a lack of access to sanitary necessities due to financial problems.

‘Period poverty’ is a very real problem as one in ten girls (10%) have been unable to afford sanitary wear, whilst one in seven girls (15%) have struggled to afford sanitary products, according to statistics from girls’ rights charity, Plan International UK.

Further statistics show almost half of all girls have missed an entire day of school (49%) because of their period, with the majority of these making up an excuse for their absence (59%). At least one in four women and girls has had to miss work or school due to not being able to afford sanitary products.

In January 2020, the government published guidance for primary school, secondary schools and colleges to give pupils free access to sanitary products. Currently there are no similar provisions to provide period products to adults in need, such as those living in poverty.

However, this gap has been bridged slightly, as any customer in need can now go to any Morrisons customer service desk nationwide and ask for a package for ‘Sandy’ or a ‘period product pack’. The customers will then be given a free discreet envelope with two single sanitary products and no questions asked.

Emma, who works at the Morrisons Bolton Atlas store, came up with the idea in response to the issue of period poverty. She said: “Period poverty is a real problem and going to a school in a predominantly low-income area gave me an insight into what it’s like to have no access to sanitary wear.

“It’s shocking that young girls and women go without sanitary products through no fault of their own so I’m really pleased that we at Morrisons can help to support those in need across the whole of the UK.”

Following the success of the recent Buy One Donate One campaign on sanitary products, Morrisons is also donating 125,000 sanitary products which will be distributed to local charities by community champions nationwide.

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