Fall River
Menstrual Equity Initiative

Mass NOW in partnership with Fall River Mayor Paul Coogan, United Neighbors of Fall River and the Fall River Coalition Against Period Poverty was awarded a grant through the Commonwealth's Community Empowerment and Reinvestment program to provide free menstrual products & menstrual equity workshops in Fall River schools, shelters and community centers.

A SNAPSHOT
 

We partnered with Fall River Public Schools and 17 community organizations to distribute over 30,000 quality, menstrual products. 100% of partner organizations reported having been asked for menstrual products by a menstruator who needed one and relied on donations to meet the need. We partnered with Love Your Menses to hold workshops such as, “Menstrual Equity 101 Train-the-Trainer” as well as “Community Menstrual Equity 101,” and “Men for Menstruation.” 100% of participants surveyed found the presentation to be effective, engaging and learned new resources/references for period conversations in the future! We surveyed menstruators in the community online, in focus groups and at Period Pop Up events. Over one third (36.71%) of participants shared that they had missed school, work, or other activities due to not having access to menstrual products.

The following report includes a literature review, which examines period poverty in schools and shelters, an overview of Fall River and why it was chosen for the project, the project methods, as well as project findings and recommendations. It is our hope that this report can be a roadmap for officials at all levels of government on how to meaningfully address period poverty. The success of this project indicates that these policies improve the health and wellbeing of both individuals and communities.

Advisory Group

Our Advisory Group includes stakeholders working on this grant program to share best practices on menstrual product distribution, and how we can meet the needs of people who menstruate living in or near poverty in Fall River. We will share a report in summer 2022  with recommendations for best practices for period poverty policy implementation. This initiative is co-facilitated by Sasha Goodfriend, Executive Director of Mass NOW and Lauren Leonardis of Mother and Changemaker Consulting Inc. 

Ali Bettencourt

April Fuches

Bria Gadsden

Charlotte Powley

Deloris Joseph

Elaina M. Pevide

Genesis Galan

Lee LeBlanc Corrigan

Leimary Llopez

Maryellen Brisbois

Meg Rogers

Michaela Gagne

Sara Rodrigues

Wendy Garf-Lipp

South Coast Hospital Group

Bristol County DA

Love Your Menses

Simmons University

Dartmouth Youth representative

Fall River Mayor's Office

Representative Carole Fiola's Office

Citizens For Citizens Family Planning

YW of Southwest Massachusetts

UMASS Nursing School

United Way Greater Fall River

Diman Vocational HS

Fall River School Committee

United Neighbors of Fall River