The initiative has been launched today
TWO Limerick politicians have welcomed news that retail giant Lidl is to begin providing free period products in its stores.
Lidl announced this morning, that in conjunction with Homeless Period Ireland it be providing free period products as part of a new nationwide initiative.
The company, which has four stores in Limerick city and one in Newcastle West, is the first major retailer in the world to actively combat period poverty in this manner.
Councillor Elena Secas has expressed her delight at the initiative. “I wish to commend Lidl on their proactive action to offer free period products in their stores. This commitment is another step towards combating period poverty in Ireland
and it will definitely benefit the Limerick area through its stores locally.”
Councillor Olivia O'Sullivan has also welcomed the announcement describing it as "very significant".
Well done @lidl_ireland this is a very significant move— Cllr Olivia O'Sullivan (@oliviaos) April 19, 2021
If your organisation wants to learn more about how you can help tackle #periodpoverty and become a #periodpositive business, training is offered by @UL student initiative @AnytimeMonth https://t.co/S0aIWZebkm
From today, the new initiative will see the retailer offer a dedicated coupon for a free box of sanitary pads or tampons per customer each month through their Lidl Plus app. The retailer has also committed to quarterly donations of these products to The Simon Communities to ensure people experiencing homelessness.
Claire Hunt, head of the volunteer organisation Homeless Period, told the Leader she thinks the announcement is a significant step towards eradicating period poverty, “it will ensure that those most in need will have access to these products and most importantly in a dignified way.”
Lidl says it is also working with the Ladies Gaelic Football Association on this initiative and plans to provide clubs across the country with period products as well.
Commenting on the initiative, Aoife Clarke, Head of Communications for Lidl Ireland, said: "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. 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."
Plan International released a study in 2019 that found 50% of girls aged 12-19 have struggled to pay for period products, which shows only one aspect of why this initiative is badly needed.