Walmart Supports Brands' Period Poverty Initiatives

Patrycja Malinowska
Director, Member Content, P2PI
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As feminine hygiene brands launch initiatives aimed at helping girls in need access period products, Walmart is jumping in to support the cause efforts.

This month, the retailer has teamed with Procter & Gamble's Always to donate a year's worth of period products to 50 local extracurricular organizations across all 50 states, as identified by America's Promise Alliance, a network of organizations dedicated to improving the lives of young people. 

A video uploaded to the brand's YouTube channel showcases the effort's first recipients, girls belonging to a local martial arts studio in Florida. (See below.) 

Additionally, for every purchase of a three-pack box of Always pads from Jan. 7 to Feb. 7, Always will donate another pack to girls in need across the U.S. A promotional page supports, linking to supporting blog posts sponsored by Always.

In stores, an account-specific half-pallet display stocking Always and Tampax products plugs the initiative, inviting shoppers to "get her back in the action" and depicting the initiative's #EndPeriodPoverty hashtag.

The effort addresses the problem of girls missing out on school and activities because they don't have access to feminine hygiene products, and is part of Always' broader Live #LikeAGirl platform. Last spring, Walmart also leveraged that platform to give its support to the Girl Scouts of the USA's STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) programming.

“We know that this is a crucial life stage for young women and, with the support of Walmart, we want to help them have every opportunity to continue to grow and become whoever they want to be," said Marty Vanderstelt, North America Always Brand Director, in a Jan. 10 media release announcing the partnership.

This isn't the first time Walmart has tackled the period poverty issue. Last October, Walmart gave $25,000 to the Alliance for Period Supplies and donated five million feminine hygiene products in conjunction with the alliance's founding sponsor, Kimberly-Clark's U by Kotex. Every U by Kotex purchase made at the retailer throughout the month triggered a donation of two items.

A page and sponsored blogs post also supported that initiative, while a Nov. 8 email blast from Walmart thanked participants. Many of the blog posts urged consumers to petition legislators to exempt menstrual hygiene products from sales tax, arguing that they’re a medical and health necessity rather than a luxury. Walgreens also has worked with U by Kotex in support of the brand's effort.

Meanwhile, online bulk shopping company Boxed has gone a step further than other retailers in supporting the cause. The retailer's #RethinkPink initiative offers a discount on menstrual products to offset state sales taxes.