A 2021 study by period product maker Kotex found two in five women who menstruate have struggled to buy period supplies. That problem, and the effect it has on students, caught the attention of the director of the Midwest City-Del City Public Schools Foundation in Oklahoma City. Lindse Barks took that concern to SSM Health St. Anthony Hospital - Midwest in Midwest City, Oklahoma. The hospital awarded the foundation a $38,000 grant. It covered the cost of 207 dispensers of period products that were installed in girls' bathrooms in the school district.
Twenty-two states charge sales tax on period products. In Missouri, those products are taxed as a luxury item, at 4.2%. A recent national study on St. Louis high school girls found one-third of the participants missed class for lack of access to products. Nearly two-thirds reported period product insecurity. While previous efforts to reduce the tax have been unsuccessful, three bills have already been filed for Missouri’s 2023 legislative session.