Irish Grocery Chain is Giving Period Products to Girls in Need

Lidl Ireland is the first major retailer helping to relieve period poverty.


Woman putting period product in her purse.

(Monstar Studio /

Lidl Ireland wants to make periods easier for women and girls in the Republic of Ireland by providing free period products for those who need them. No questions asked. They are the first major retailer in the world to do so.

For many girls and women, periods shouldn’t mean staying home from school or work because you cannot afford sanitary products. But many do because of period poverty. In fact, the company said in a press release that 50 percent of females in Ireland aged 12 to 19, find it difficult to pay for sanitary products.

According to a report from Ireland's Department of Health and the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, as many as 85,000 women and girls may be at risk of period poverty in the country. In the past, that meant doing without but now they won’t have to.

Lidl began its Period Poverty Initiative in April 2021, in partnership with Homeless Period Ireland and The Simon Communities of Ireland, and supplies one box of pads or tampons each month through its Lidl Plus app according to Irish Central. The retailer will also give donations to the organization so that homeless people can have access to these essential menstrual products.

As a long-time sponsor of  the Ladies Gaelic Football Association, Lidl is also supplying period products to LGFA’s clubs around the country to reach thousands of girls and young women who may not have access anywhere else.

It’s easy to sign up. People can register for or to opt out of the program on Lidl’s smartphone app and receive a monthly coupon for the period products. While the retailer has 11,200 stores in 29 countries, according to CNN, the initiative is limited to its 168 Irish stores.

Aoife Clarke, Head of Communications for Lidl Ireland, told Irish Central: “At Lidl, it has long been our priority to support the communities we operate in across the country, and that has been even more prevalent since the onset of the pandemic.

"Since learning more about the growing issue of period poverty in Ireland, we’ve passionately felt that as a family retailer it’s in our communities’ best interest to support young girls and women who are affected by this issue.”

Period poverty exists globally but it wasn’t always talked about. Now this is changing. In 2018, Scotland became the first country in the world to make sanitary products free to all its students who menstruate in schools and universities. This was expanded to all who need them in 2020.

Also in 2020, New Zealand passed legislation to provide free feminine products for all girls so that they can stay in school during their periods.

“In a first world country like ours, no one should have to choose between feeding themselves and their family or buying period products,” Claire Hunt, the founder of Homeless Period Ireland told Irish Central.

“It is my hope that in due course much-anticipated legislation and measures will be implemented and ultimately Homeless Period Ireland and indeed initiatives like this one should no longer have to exist,” she added. After all, period products are a daily necessity and not a luxury and should be available to anyone who needs them.

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