Lidl Ireland has announced it is to become the first major retailer in the world to offer free period products in stores nationwide to women and girls across the country in partnership with Homeless Period Ireland and The Simon Communities of Ireland.
The retailers said it will offer a dedicated coupon for a free box of sanitary pads or tampons per customer each month through their app Lidl Plus, and has also committed to quarterly donations of these products to The Simon Communities.
Lidl, who is well known for its strong sponsorship with the Ladies Gaelic Football Association (LGFA) and support of women in sport, said it is also working with the organisation to provide free period products in its LGFA clubs across the country.
Period poverty is described as the lack of access to sanitary products, menstrual hygiene education, toilets, handwashing facilities, and, or, waste management, which is a growing issue in Ireland particularly since the onset of the pandemic, the company said.
A Plan International study on young females in Ireland found that almost 50% of girls aged between 12 and 19 found it difficult to pay for sanitary products.
"This initiative will ensure that those most in need will have the ability to access suitable period products,” said Claire Hunt, founder of Homeless Period Ireland.
“In a first world country like ours no one should have to choose between feeding themselves and their family or buying period products. In collaboration with Homeless Period Ireland, Lidl Ireland are taking the lead in restoring dignity to people across the entire country. It is my hope that in due course much anticipated legislation and measures will be implemented and ultimately Homeless Period Ireland and indeed initiatives like this one should no longer have to exist," she added.
In addition, Lidl said it will continue to provide free access to these products to its workforce.
"At Lidl, it has long been our priority to support the communities we operate in across the country, and that has been even more prevalent since the onset of the pandemic," said Aoife Clarke, head of communications for Lidl Ireland.
"Since learning more about the growing issue of period poverty in Ireland, we’ve passionately felt that as a family retailer it’s in our communities’ best interest to support young girls and women who are affected by this issue," she added.
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