Fake cereal loopholes show how menstrual products aren’t covered by federal programs
Imagine opening a box of Frosted Flakes and finding there not a toy robot or a glow-in-the-dark pen, but tampons and pads. This is the price that accompanies each box of Loopholes.
No, Loopholes is not an actual cereal brand. But the stats that his false advertising conjures up are.
Currently, one in four menstruating teenage girls in the United States do not have access to menstrual products, let alone those who are homeless or incarcerated. And as the Loopholes website notes, these people are faced with the choice every month between buying food or buying sanitary napkins or tampons because no major government program supports periodic care. Although, yes, the FDA classifies these items as “medical products,” programs to help low-income people like SNAP and WIC classify them as “luxury goods,” which puts them in the same category as pet food, cigarettes and alcohol.
Federal programs, however, cover food. Hence… Loopholes.
Here is a cereal advertisement like no other:
As the catchy pop song suggests, because the government helps people buy food (not vintage goods), each box of Loopholes comes with tampons and pads inside.
Ask your rep for some flaws.
It’s technically food. So it’s technically covered.
Although rarely mentioned, menstrual poverty is a real public health crisis. The financial burden forces many to attempt to reuse single-use hygiene products, or resort to socks, rags or paper… if not choosing to forgo using anything and bleed through clothing. All of this can, unsurprisingly, cause an infection.
To address menstrual poverty, U.S. Representative Grace Meng introduced the Menstrual Equity For All Act (ME4ALL), an initiative to make these products more accessible.
The invoice would include:
- Encourage colleges and universities to implement pilot programs that provide free menstrual products to female students
- Ensure incarcerated and detained people have access to free menstrual products
- Allow homeless service providers to use grant funds that cover shelter necessities to purchase menstrual products
- Require Medicaid to cover the cost of menstrual products
- Asking large employers to provide free menstrual products to their employees in the workplace
- Require all public federal buildings to provide free menstrual products in washrooms
To raise awareness about the bill, creative agency 72andSunny has teamed up with Period: The Menstrual Movement, No More Secrets, The Flow Initiative, Ignite and Free the Period to create this ad featuring OffLimits Spark Cereal in the role of Loopholes and featuring August’s tampons and pads. “price”. And where you can’t really buy a box of this deliciously inclusive cereal (at least not with Loopholes packaging), the website’s action page offers an easy way to submit your email to contact reps. I just did it in 10 seconds.
As anyone with the Monthly Feed will tell you, these items are a necessity, not a luxury. They may not be part of a balanced breakfast, but they are part of healthy living.
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