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Elkhart Public Library gives access to free menstrual products

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Forgetting your products during that time of the month can be stressful. The Elkhart Public Library is expanding their resources to help those who menstruate.

Jill Martinson, the Elkhart Public Library Development Manager, knows she’s not alone when it comes to dealing with Aunt Flow. That’s why she proposed a grant about five months ago, to help end period poverty by changing the world one cycle at a time.

"It had its challenges. The first question is, can we find somewhere within the library’s actual budget to provide for these in the same area where we provide the toilet paper and paper towel," Jill Martinson, Elkhart Public Library Audience Development Manager.

The library being a community resource it had to find ways to take on the costs. Supporting the library as a charitable organization The Elkhart Friends are giving the library a helping hand.

"In a lot of families, money is very scarce and tight and unfortunately they call it period poverty. There’s an absence in the ability sometimes to move forward these products. What better place than the library to have these available?" Doug Mulvaney, President of The Friends of the Elkhart Public Library said.

The approval of the grant brings dispensers and free, organic menstrual products. Those who menstruate, not just women, can find the “Flow” dispensers in every public library in the city of Elkhart.

"I see them benefiting from more dignity. If you don’t have that moment of, I’m having to substitute and use toilet paper because I forgot this product, you’re spending the rest of the day walking around shifting, feeling uncomfortable. This is just a simple need that’s being filled in the community," Martinson said.

If you’re embarrassed to ask for help about your period You can go to the recreation desk, or checkout desk and ask for books on “moon cycles”.

"Your moon cycle, or your monthly, is when you experience your period. Especially when you’re very young you might not know that it’s coming. It’s very natural but it can be a little scary. Just know that every month, the moon is coming up and every month so is your menses," Martinson said.

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Martinson did submit this idea to a Facebook group called Library Think Tank. Libraries from all over the country are now reaching out to see how they too can end period poverty. Remember if it’s your time of the month You can ask for help by saying you need books on “moon cycles”

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