There is currently no major government funding in the United States to support the purchase of menstruation products, causing “period poverty.”
A new campaign from 72andSunny New York about a fictional food product calls attention to the issue.
“Loopholes” looks like a cereal—it has a colorful box with cute mascots and, most importantly, is eligible for purchase through SNAP, the government-funded program to provide low-income families with assistance buying food. But instead of coming with a toy prize inside, each box contains tampons and pads.
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An accompanying campaign video begins with somber statistics about period poverty, set to sorrowful piano music. A quick glitch changes the tune to an upbeat bop with lyrics like, “The government helps people buy food with SNAP, but no one’s helping us buy tampons—they don’t give a crap.” The cereal mascots, an adorably animated tampon and pad, dive into the cereal and the cereal crashes into bowls along with period products, wildly flying around the pink and purple set. “When we demand legislation, we’ll fix the situation,” belts the singer, “and we won’t need anymore Loopholes.”
“Period products are as necessary as toilet paper and food,” said Elaine Cox, executive creative director at 72andSunny New York, in a statement. “Not having access to them has lasting consequences. This is not just an issue for those of us who menstruate. It leads to missed days of school, it affects job performance, and leads to physical and mental hardships. It touches entire families. The solution is not a mystery. It’s time to address this ridiculous inequity and put an end to it once and for all.”
The campaign, which arrives in time for International Women's Day, was created in partnership with nonprofits Period, Free the Period, Ignite, No More Secrets and The Flow Initiative with sustainable sanitary products provided by August and plant-based cereal from OffLimits. The box features a QR code and instructions that direct buyers to the campaign’s website, which houses resources to support the Menstrual Equity for All Act as well as how to donate supplies to nonprofit distributors.
"Access to Period products is a matter of human rights, especially as these products are used monthly by over half the US population,” said Michela Bedard, executive director of Period, in a statement. “We need national policy change to address systemic period poverty, including the ability to use public benefits to purchase products. Everyone deserves to live a full life, regardless of a natural need. Period."
The film and additional assets will be promoted through social media, influencer campaigning and other activations, including a panel at SXSW.