Shelby County Schools giving out feminine hygiene products to every school

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Students at all Shelby County Schools will always have access to feminine hygiene products after officials found a big drop in attendance for girls going through their menstrual period.

Nearly 200 boxes are ready for distribution from Shelby County Schools.

"I'm thankful this has happened. You'd never know it's the small things that will help our children," SCS Principal Melita Thomas said.

"We have students that come to us every week where they need something. Either it was an emergency situation or maybe they don't have anything at home. And we're actually the ones that provide that for them," SCS Principal Lischa Brooks said.

They're talking about products such as pads that women and girls use during their period.

But when we asked in August, Shelby County School Officials said they just finished a study that showed menstrual periods were impacting education for girls.

Dr. Lori Phillips says ever since we aired that story, the community support has been overwhelming and it's changed the tone of the conversation.

"Everybody knows it's alright to talk about period poverty. It's alright to be a 'menstruater' as they want to say now. It's on the horizon. We're talking about it with other cities in Tennessee and talking about making a difference," she said.

"Everyone knows it's going on in the school. It's been a great thing. Everyone's not shy to talk about it," 12th grade student Delishia Cross said.

That honesty led to an amazing response in donations.

Phillips says they got enough to create a necessity closet at every elementary, middle and high school.

"You would be surprised at how many people, partners and organizations came together," she said.

"It's important for schools to have resources that students need so schools can feel like a secondary home," ninth grade student Lily Knox said.

"I think it'll be a higher attendance because they see the schools are supporting them with things they don't have," 11th grade student Mariah Madison said.

Shelby County School officials said once the schools have used up all the supplies in each box, they'll be able to fully replenish them.

They plan to do another necessity drive next September.