Cork County Council Library and Arts Service Receive Additional Funding to Support Period Poverty Initiative

A library building

Cork County Council Library and Arts Service has been approved for an additional grant of €10,000 to support its Period Poverty Initiative.  

The additional funding provided by The Department of Health, ensures that the service can continue to provide free sanitary products across its network of 25 branch libraries and 4 mobile libraries. 

The initiative was originally launched in Autumn 2022 following a successful application to the Department to roll out the pilot service to provide free sanitary products.

Where publicly accessed toilets were available, dispensing units were installed and stocked.  Libraries without public toilets and mobile libraries left packs available for pick up as required.  

The pilot project was initiated in response to a 2021 report by The Department of Health and the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth which highlighted the prevalence and impact of period poverty in Ireland and acknowledged the potential adverse consequences of period poverty which can include exclusion from activities of daily living during menstruation and physical and mental impacts from both exclusion and the use of unsuitable period products. 

Libraries, as free, accessible, and safe spaces for all, are well positioned to deliver free period products to everyone who needs them.  The signposting and advertising of free Period Products across library service points helps to reduce stigma around periods.  Period Poverty encompasses not only a basic need for products but also wider issues around menstrual health literacy; projects like this work to promote health literacy and remove stigma contribute to the wider conversation.