Local company TOP The Organic Project donates 100,000 period products to Providence after-school programs
May 22, 2019
PROVIDENCE, R.I.- Mayor Jorge O. Elorza will join City Councilwoman Kat Kerwin, representatives from TOP The Organic Project, Director of Healthy Communities Ellen Cynar, and Providence public school students to announce TOP’s donation of 100,000 period products to Providence after-school programs in celebration of Menstrual Hygiene Day.
“Periods are a part of life, period,” said Mayor Jorge Elorza. “No student should have to miss out because their needs aren’t being met. We need to come together as a community to empower and support our students so they can focus on what matters most- learning. I want to thank TOP The Organic Project for leading by example, giving back to the community by supporting Providence youth with this critical need.”
The Providence Public School Department (PPSD) launched its menstrual hygiene pilot program in February of this year, as part of the approved fiscal budget for fiscal year 2019. Dispensers carrying free-of-cost menstrual hygiene products were implemented in designated bathrooms in Hope High School, Classical High School, Delsesto Middle School and Nathanael Greene Middle School. Shortly after implementation, the City conducted a focus group with Providence public school students with varied access to the dispensers. Results from the focus group and reports by school principals and nurses found increased demand for these dispensers in multiple school bathrooms and increased access to products. Providence after-school programs have also expressed need for these products.
Council President Sabina Matos said, “Young women in our City deserve a healthy, open environment in which they can learn and grow. This environment must be free from the distraction and embarrassment that comes with being unprepared for your period. The fact is, half of the population needs access to menstrual products, and this issue should not be taboo. If we are to provide young women with the tools they need for success; feminine hygiene must be a part of that conversation. I am so grateful to TOP The Organic Project for the work that they are doing to provide young women with feminine products, and their eagerness to address an issue that so many women relate to.”
In response to needs expressed by Providence after-school programs, the Healthy Communities Office has launched a survey encouraging local organizations to apply for a portion of the products donated by TOP. Local after-school programs can request the products by completing the survey which is available until Monday, June 3. Distribution of products will be coordinated by Director of Healthy Communities Ellen Cynar.
“A key part of TOP The Organic Project’s purpose is giving back,” said TOP Chief Brand Officer Denielle Finkelstein. “Understanding the issue of period poverty, as an organization we have committed to donate a portion of our profits back to those in need, especially youth in the local middle and high schools. We must empower our youth to reach their fullest potential and allow them to focus on their education and not worry about accessing safe period products. We’re thrilled to be donating to the City of Providence and supporting their menstrual hygiene program.”
Full implementation of the menstrual hygiene program is expected by the start of the upcoming school year.