In the News

NCJW Houston combats period poverty in Texas

U.S. Rep. Lizzie Fletcher participates in annual packing party

National Council of Jewish Women, Greater Houston Section hosted U.S. Rep. Lizzie Fletcher at the first NCJW Houston Period Project packing party of the year on Wednesday, Aug. 30, at the Evelyn Rubenstein JCC.

More than 30 NCJW volunteers, some as young as 6, joined Fletcher and her staff to package 675 period product emergency kits for students at the Energized for Excellence Academy, one of 11 schools NCJW is supporting this year.

The NCJW Houston Period Project initiative to improve the lives of school-aged students in the Greater Houston area and to alleviate the effects of period poverty began in 2019.

“People may not have heard the term, ‘Period Poverty,’ but the members of the National Council of Jewish Women in Houston have not only heard about it, they are doing something about it,” said Fletcher.

“Their Period Project represents the best of our community – coming together to meet a real need in a spirit of giving and solidarity. I was delighted to join them to assemble period packs for Houston students.

“National studies show that one in five teens have struggled to afford period products and four in five either personally missed class time or knew someone who did because they did not have access to period products.

“I am committed to working to address gaps in federal programs to make products more accessible, and am grateful to and inspired by the women of NCJW Houston for their commitment to addressing this need here at home.”

Thanks to the Houston Period Project, students are able to pick up supplies for themselves or a family member. These criticial products help ensure that students stay in school by providing confidence and support.

What started as a donation to SEARCH grew to a partnership with HISD wraparound specialists in four Houston-area middle schools. Thanks to a generous grant from the Aubrey and Sylvia Farb Community Service Fund at Congregation Emanu El, NCJW has expanded the project to reach 11 middle schools this school year.

Last September, NCJW Houston met with Texas Rep. Donna Howard and advocated for her proposed bill, SB 379, to eliminate the “pink tax” on tampons, pads and other menstrual products. The bill passed and was signed by the governor in June. Nearly 1 in 4 students nationwide have struggled to afford necessary menstrual products.

For more information or to get involved in this and other NCJW initiatives, email info@ncjwhouston.org or visit ncjwhouston.org.

Read this article at JHVOnline.com.