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Menstrual products in limited supply in some stores

Some local nonprofits say they are running low on tampons, but there are several local organizations that can serve as a resource.

WASHINGTON — Since the start of the pandemic, we’ve seen a number of product shortages. First, it was toilet paper, then hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes and baby formula. Now, in some parts of the country menstrual products are hard to come by.

A trip to a number of stores in Virginia, Maryland and D.C. revealed a limited supply in some DMV stores and nonprofits are starting to feel the hurt. Dana Marlowe, with Support The Girls, said their shelves are bare.

"As soon as we are restocked with tampons, our waiting list from social service agencies is so long, they're out the door immediately," Marlowe said. 

According to the Washington Post, the shortage is due to inventory issues stemming from the rising cost of cotton, rayon and plastic. Plus, supplies on the shelves are costing more. Bloomberg reported the price of tampons is up nearly 10% in comparison to this time last year.

Thrive DC, a local group that helps those facing financial challenges, is letting everyone know they’re here to help if you’re in need. Executive Director Alicia Horton said, ironically enough, one of their most recent donations came from Support The Girls.

“We just got a big donation from them that will keep us stocked for a while,” Horton said. 

Greg Rockwell, Thrive's director of development, said on average they provide pads and tampons for about 200 people a month, and more than 3,000 a year. But they're equipped to help more if need be.

“We serve anybody who comes to our doors," Rockwell said. "We're not asking questions if you need toiletry supplies. If you need clothes, you need groceries, we're a resource." 

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