Providing Free Period Products Boosts Client Engagement at Community Agencies

Access to menstrual supplies shown to open doors to other services and support.

This study underscores both the remarkable benefits of making period products available … and the urgent need for sustainable funding and policies to meet this basic need.”

— Kelley E.C. Massengale, PhD, Alliance for Period Supplies

NEW HAVEN, CONNECTICUT, UNITED STATES, June 6, 2024 / — A study published today in the journal “Women’s Health” reveals that distributing free period products has wide-ranging benefits. The study was conducted by the Alliance for Period Supplies, a nonprofit organization working to end period poverty in the United States.

The study found that when community agencies like food pantries, shelters and schools offer free pads, tampons and other period supplies donated by period supply banks, their clients are much more likely to engage with the agency’s other services and resources. Agency staff reported that since they started providing period products, clients were more likely to: start a conversation about other needs (66.7%), extend the length of their relationship with the agency (60.0%), keep scheduled appointments (62.1%), ask for assistance with another need (75.0%), communicate between visits (42.4%), participate in other agency programming (55.9%), and seek other agency services (73.5%). Staff members (n=64) responsible for distributing free period products to clients as part of their work at a partner agency of an Alliance for Period Supplies network member-period supply bank completed surveys about their experiences and organizational practices.

“Ensuring access to menstrual products is essential to people’s health and opportunities to participate in the activities of daily life, like work and school. These basic material necessities are also a gateway to overall well-being,” said study co-author Kelley E.C. Massengale, PhD, of the Alliance for Period Supplies. “The study shows that when agencies can give clients period supplies these community organizations become significantly more successful in providing services.”

Unfortunately, 41% of agencies reported having to turn clients away at times due to insufficient donations of period supplies. An estimated 17 million menstruating individuals in the U.S. live in poverty.

“This study underscores both the remarkable benefits of making period products available where people access other vital services and the urgent need for sustainable funding and policies to meet this basic need,” Massengale added. “Everyone deserves the dignity and opportunity that comes with being able to manage their period.”

“We know that nonprofits serving women and girls are horribly underfunded, garnering less than 2% of charitable giving in the United States,” said Alliance for Period Supplies CEO Joanne Goldblum. “The Alliance plays a critical role in strengthening these women-serving organizations who are doing such essential work with so little support.”

The findings were based on anonymous surveys of staff at agencies partnering with Alliance for Period Supplies member period supply banks across the United States. These period supply banks obtain menstrual products and distribute them through community partners, such as schools, women’s centers and food banks, allowing the partner organizations to focus on client relationships and support services.

The study, entitled “Enhancing Client Engagement & Alleviating Period Product Insecurity: A Cross-Sectional Study of Community-Based Period Supply Banks’ Distribution of Free Period Products Through Intermediary Partner Agencies in the United States,” can be accessed in the journal Women’s Health. The study was co-authored by Kelley E.C. Massengale, PhD, Lynn H. Comer, Kelsey M. Bowman and Susan Van Ness.

About the Alliance for Period Supplies

The Alliance for Period Supplies leads a national network of more than 140 independent, community-based nonprofits working to end period poverty in the U.S. Founded in 2018, as a program of the National Diaper Bank Network, the organization advocates for legislation and public policies to end period poverty, promote menstrual equity, make period supplies freely available in public school restrooms. It also supports the development and expansion of period supply programs throughout the country. Currently, Alliance for Period Supplies allied members work in 41 states and Washington D.C. For more information, visit

Troy Moore
National Diaper Bank Network | Alliance for Period Supplies
+1 203-295-7987
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