Share the Dignity drives through Ballarat

Share: Lou Ridsdale, Kate Roberts, Caron Cavalier, Jane Bolte, Sally-Anne McGeachin, Lucas Polanske, 6, Marianne Hendron and Ginelle Polanske. Picture: Kate Healy.

Share: Lou Ridsdale, Kate Roberts, Caron Cavalier, Jane Bolte, Sally-Anne McGeachin, Lucas Polanske, 6, Marianne Hendron and Ginelle Polanske. Picture: Kate Healy.

A national drive for sanitary products this April will give comfort and dignity to women in need, a Ballarat organiser said. 

Share the Dignity runs two collection drives a year. Food Is Free Laneway is one of a dozen donation drop off points in Ballarat and Hepburn Shire.

“It’s about dignity and respect, it’s about acknowledging so-called feminine hygiene products are expensive, they’re an absolute necessary and to be in a position where you have to make the choice between feeding your kids and being able to buy sanitary products is a horrible position to be in,” Food Is Free committee member Marianne Hendron said.

“This is a really important way to also enhance people’s lives and their health and wellbeing as well as giving them respect and dignity. It’s very much aligned to the values of Food is Free.”

The Share the Dignity movement also opposes the 20 per cent “luxury tax” on pads and tampons.

“I believe that for every women sanitary products should be much cheaper. I think the tax should be removed from them because they’re an absolute necessity,” Ms Hendron said.

“If there was an equivalent product that men were having to use every single month for 30 years of their lives, I don’t think it would be taxed to the same extent. It’s a significant expense that women have to fork out for once a month and there isn’t much choice about the matter.”

Food Is Free founder Lou Ridsdale said it wasn’t always obvious that a person was in need.

“I just think it’s important for society to think about people who are in need. That’s what we do here is Food Is Free and that’s exactly what Share the Dignity does as well.

“A lot of the time poverty doesn’t have a face and doesn’t have an image or a look so it’s quite often people you’re not aware of who may be in trouble financially or emotionally.”

Share the Dignity drive runs until April 30. Donations can also be made anytime online. 

Food Is Free Laneway is a drop off point for all of April and collecting unused pads, tampons and other sanitary items for homeless/sleeping rough persons (women and transgender) to use.

Drop off points include Daylesford Vinnies, St John of God Hospital Ballarat and Australian Hearing Services Ballarat. For a full list of collection points visit www.sharethedignity.com.au.