Throughout the first half of April, donations of period hygiene products will be collected on campus as part of Fairfield University’s first feminine hygiene drive, a collaboration between several university organizations including the Fairfield University Student Association (FUSA) and the Alumni of Color Network. Products collected will benefit the Center for Family Justice in Bridgeport.

When you think of poverty, food or shelter might be the first thing that comes to mind. But getting access to another necessity – period products – can also be a struggle for those experiencing poverty. According to the Journal of Global Health Reports, “500 million people lack access to menstrual products and hygiene facilities” in the United States alone.

An issue that often goes overlooked, period poverty can be defined as a lack of access to safe and hygienic menstrual products. This issue is faced by many low-income girls and women worldwide, including right in Fairfield County, and a new on-campus initiative is working to put a stop to it.

Fairfield alum Luckario Alcide ‘21 is leading the initiative on behalf of the Alumni of Color Network, which is also working with other organizations on campus to host the period hygiene drive. The initiative was started by the alumni group to celebrate Women’s History Month.

“This is an honest effort to get Bellarmine campus students, North Benson campus students, and alumni involved in a collaborative project that serves not only the community but themselves as well,” Alcide said. “As a representative of the Fairfield University Alumni of Color Network’s service committee, I see the value in community engagement and service. We want students from diverse backgrounds across the two campuses to know that they can make an impact by any means possible within the campus community and in the local community.”

Collection boxes can be found in the Barone Campus Center, at both the information desk and outside of the FUSA office, according to Life@Fairfield. Drop-off sites also include the Center for Social Impact (Canisius Hall 200), the Student Health Center and the security office at the Fairfield Bellarmine campus. Those looking to donate pads, tampons and other products can do so by dropping items off in a collection box or by making a purchase from the drive’s Amazon wish list.

The wish list includes pads of various sizes, tampons, menstrual cups, hand sanitizer and more – all products that would benefit someone experiencing period poverty. Fairfield student Grace Lombardi ‘25, a behavioral neuroscience major and health studies minor, expressed the importance of the period hygiene drive.

“To have to spend large sums of money on products we need is wrong when people already don’t have enough money for other necessities,” Lombardi said. “…It’s considered a healthcare need.”

Along with the Alumni of Color Network, Joel Espada, Manager of Community Partnerships at Fairfield, played a key role in organizing the feminine hygiene drive. He hopes that the drive will bring awareness to the issue, while also giving students a chance to give back to those in need.

“We hope that through this drive we can celebrate the invaluable contributions and accomplishments women have made throughout history, but also bring awareness to those marginalized and/or oppressed, who are far too often easily forgotten by society,” Espada said. “It is also an opportunity to unify both campuses (Bellarmine and North Benson) for a good cause and give back to the community.”

The drive is an ongoing project, with donations being collected until April 12th. At the conclusion of the initiative, there will be an opportunity for Bellarmine and North Benson students to get together and finalize the project.

“This initiative will conclude with a donation sorting party at Fairfield Bellarmine with Bellarmine/North Benson students gathering together to arrange the donations while enjoying music and snacks,” Espada explains. The date for the sorting party will be announced. Until then, Espada encourages students to get involved and contact for more information.

About The Author

Junior | Assistant News Editor | Digital Journalism Major | Editing and Publishing Minor

Junior | Assistant News Editor | Digital Journalism Major | Editing and Publishing Minor

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