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Tampon shortage making products hard to find for nonprofits

California Menstrual Products
Posted at 8:32 AM, Jun 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-20 10:32:36-04

Some have reported a shortage of menstrual products is impacting women across the US. The recent shortage has left shelves in major drug stores completely empty.

One of the hardest brands to find right now is Tampax.

Its maker, Procter and Gamble, acknowledged the problem but said the situation is only temporary and that it's producing tampons 24/7 to replenish the supply.

Even if the shortage is short-lived, nonprofits that provide these products to needy people said they have to turn people away.

PERIOD distributes free menstrual products nationwide. The group used to get massive donations, but service manager Kate Barker Swindell said those have slowed significantly in recent months.

So we had to take the unusual step of closing our waitlist and just we're just working through it now and like sorry we can't take any more,” said Swindell.

She said supply chain issues and increased demand are likely to blame for the decline. She also blames policy.

“When these items are not deemed as essential when they're not deemed as necessary, included in programs as things that people need, they languish,” she said. “They don't get the attention they need.

Food stamps and other relief programs do not currently cover feminine hygiene products. It’s estimated that more than 20% of women have trouble affording these products each month.