Carrboro 'goes with the flow' to support women's health

tampons

UNC now offers free female hygiene products after students created a movement and petition to push for the university to offer the products for free.

On Saturday from 7-11 p.m., community members can donate feminine hygiene supplies such as tampons, pads and menstrual cups at the Orange County Social Club in Carrboro. The “Go with the Flow” event will include cocktails — possibly featuring blood orange —with locally produced kombucha and a period-themed soundtrack.

Allison De Marco, an organizer of “Go with the Flow” and also a member of the Orange County Partnership to End Homelessness and the Community Empowerment Fund, said those two organizations make sure homeless people have food, but they forget about the necessity of menstrual products.

After hearing about a similar event in Durham, De Marco said she wondered if Orange County was doing the same to provide these products. This led her to create “Go with the Flow.”

“One of the things that is important about this is that menstrual products are taxed as luxury goods, which means women with low incomes are already paying more for these products,” De Marco said.

The drive will benefit three Orange County organizations — Inter-Faith Council for Social Service, Orange Congregations in Mission and UNC Horizons. De Marco is co-hosting the tampon drive with Tricia Mesigian, owner of the Orange County Social Club in Carrboro.

UNC Horizons is a substance abuse treatment and prevention program that works with pregnant women, mothers, children and those who have been affected by interpersonal violence.

UNC Horizons executive director Hendrée Jones said when program participants hear that community members are coming together to help women, it helps them recognize their self worth.

“I think it’s a great event that highlights women as complete women, to honor the whole person and to recognize that having tampons is a vital thing for women, for all women,” Jones said.

De Marco said this event will allow residents to think about how low-income women have to bear the extra cost of feminine hygiene products and how they can end this tax in North Carolina. She said the community can also enjoy a fun event that takes away some of the stigma when talking about periods.

“There are about five states that have gotten away with these taxes and North Carolina is not one of them,” De Marco said.

When asked if the tampon drive suited Carrboro’s values, Orange County resident Vicky Kline said Carrboro is a community that takes care of its own.

“It’s like anything else, it’s like giving diapers to mothers who need diapers for their children, or giving food for people who can’t afford food — it’s a necessity that’s not remarkably different,” Kline said.

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