We Believe This Cause Is Critical
There are hundreds of food banks and thousands of food pantries in the USA. But most of them don't stock the other basic items families need. And since there's no governtment subsidy program, people are left to either pay out of pocket or simply go without.
Although we are focused on providing personal hygiene items, we are really focused on eliminating a barrier to education and employment that will allow individuals to lift themselves up and out of poverty.
Most people we talk with are shocked to learn that food stamps (also known as SNAP - Supplemental Assistance Program) can't be used to buy basics like shampoo, soap, laundry detergent, toothpaste or feminine hygiene products.
These items are expensive and are often not stocked by food banks. Why? There isn't a natural donation cycle because they are not perishable items.
- One in three (34%) of low-income families found it difficult to afford basic household necessities in the past year.
- Nearly three in four (73%) low-income families have cut back on food in the past year in order to afford household goods. Of these, one in four (24%) report doing so each month.
- 63% of families prioritize washing only the children's clothes in an effort to promote good hygiene among their children.
- One-third of families unable to afford household goods report bathing without soap (33%) or reusing diapers (23%) in order to get by without these basic necessities.
- Some families also substitute specific household goods for others, such as using shampoo as dish soap or baking soda as deodorant.
Clean Clothes Help Kids Stay in School
"Chronic absenteeism is a problem among students from low-income households. Various remedies have been tried to address this, including locking kids up for truancy, but have failed because they lack an appreciation of the obstacles that experiencing poverty presents.
In one successful approach, the washing machine maker Whirlpool responded to the many school teachers who talked about taking bags of students’ dirty clothes home to launder, buying moms detergent, and more. The company started giving washing machines to high-poverty schools. In the 2019–20 school year, schools in the program reported that 73 percent of elementary students who had been chronically absent had good attendance once they could get laundry done in school." - Source
- Poor personal hygiene can result in social stigma and discrimination, affecting a person's chances of getting hired or being accepted in a school environment.
- Good hygiene is essential for maintaining personal and professional relationships, as it demonstrates respect for oneself and others.
- Good hygiene habits such as hand washing can lower the risk of illness, leading to better attendance and higher productivity.
- Improper hygiene can result in disciplinary action or even termination of employment, especially in industries with strict health and safety regulations.
- Regular personal hygiene practices such as showering and brushing teeth can also improve physical and mental health, leading to improved performance in educational and work settings.
Good personal hygiene can improve mental health.
- Feeling clean and well-groomed can improve self-esteem and overall well-being.
- Lack of personal hygiene can lead to low self-esteem and decreased confidence, affecting a person's performance in educational or work settings.
- Good hygiene habits can improve interpersonal relationships, making it easier for individuals to form positive relationships with classmates and colleagues.
- Good personal hygiene helps prevent the spread of infectious diseases, reducing absenteeism in schools and workplaces.
- Good oral hygiene prevents oral health issues: Brushing and flossing teeth regularly helps prevent cavities, gum disease and bad breath.
- Proper hygiene helps maintain skin health: Regular bathing and cleansing of skin helps prevent skin infections, rashes and other skin problems.
- Regular grooming prevents infestations: Regular grooming and bathing can help prevent infestations of lice, fleas, and other pests.
- Good hygiene helps prevent body odor: Regular bathing and use of deodorants can help prevent body odor.
Children living in poverty are at a higher risk of experiencing physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. Research has shown that families struggling with financial stress, inadequate housing, and limited access to resources and support are more likely to engage in child maltreatment.