Lidl Ireland is set to become the first major retailer in the world to offer free period products in stores in Cork and across the country to women and girls affected by period poverty in partnership with Homeless Period Ireland and The Simon Communities of Ireland.
The new initiative will see the retailer offer a dedicated coupon for a free box of sanitary pads or tampons per customer each month through their app Lidl Plus, and has also committed to quarterly donations of these products to The Simon Communities to ensure people experiencing homelessness, who may not have access to a smartphone, can access these essential products.
Lidl, which sponsors the Ladies Gaelic Football Association, is also working with the organisation to provide free period products in its LGFA clubs across the country with hopes to reach thousands more women and young girls who may not have access to these products on a regular basis.
The company will also continue to provide free access of these products to its workforce.
The initiative has been welcomed by Claire Hunt, Founder of Homeless Period Ireland who has been a core voice in raising awareness and distributing donations to those in need of period products for many years.
“I'm delighted that Lidl Ireland have partnered with Homeless Period Ireland in order to take meaningful action against period poverty in Ireland. This initiative will ensure that those most in need will have the ability to access suitable period products,” she said.
"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.
Jennifer Kitson, National Partnerships Manager for Simon Communities added: “ Access to sanitary products can be challenging for people experiencing homelessness and Lidl’s donations to our services will improve our supply of these essential items and mean greater access to sanitary products for our clients who need them, when they need them.”
Aoife Clarke, Head of Communications for Lidl Ireland, said: “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.
“As a long-time supporter of women in sport, our female workforce, and now women and girls across the country affected by this issue, we are pleased to partner with Homeless Period Ireland to make this unprecedented commitment to provide free period products for those who need them whilst Government legislation is being worked on. The guiding principle of this initiative is the inherent respect for the dignity of all those concerned, and it is our hope that it will have an impact those who would otherwise have to use less suitable materials or none at all.”
Starting today, those looking to get urgent access to period products can download Lidl’s app, Lidl Plus, and sign up to receive a free monthly coupon which they will receive on May 3 and then ongoing on monthly basis.