Lidl eases period poverty in Ireland, providing 80,000 free products

Members News - Community - Feb 22, 2022

 Three in four people in Ireland believe period products should be free for those who need them

18–24-year-olds in Ireland spending over €200 per annum on period products

65,000 free products redeemed through Lidl Plus App in 7 months


Lidl marked its ongoing commitment to battling Period Poverty, by co-hosting an event entitled: Combatting Period Poverty with Dignity with Homeless Period Ireland. As the first major retailer in the world to commit to combatting Period Poverty by offering free sanitary products in stores nationwide in April 2021, Lidl Ireland is pleased to have laid the foundation to eliminate Period Poverty with more than 80,000 units donated through the retailer’s initiative between May and December of 2021. Lidl has also donated thousands of sanitary products to The Simon Communities of Ireland to reach those who may not have access to a smartphone, and through their partners at the Ladies Gaelic Football Association (LGFA).

Period Poverty is the lack of access to sanitary products due to financial constraints. National data regarding consistent poverty rates suggests that approximately 53,000 – 85,000 women and girls may be at risk of period poverty*. There is significant evidence of period poverty amongst certain high-risk groups, including those experiencing homelessness and/or active addiction. Latest research from an omnibus of 1,000 members of the public undertaken by iReach on behalf of Lidl shines a light on the challenges associated with Period Poverty in Ireland, and the publics interest in ending period poverty.

Speaking about the event, Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Catherine Martin T.D. who previously brought a motion on period poverty in the Dail in 2019 on behalf of the Women’s Parliamentary Caucus, said: “Period poverty is a real issue for women in Ireland and it is having a negative impact on their education, well-being and quality of life and must be spoken about and addressed in those terms. By leading this initiative, Lidl has given us the opportunity to ensure momentum is gathering in the campaign to end period poverty.”

Speaking at the event Claire Hunt, CEO of Homeless Period Ireland commented: “Lidl’s support for eliminating Period Poverty in Ireland has created a lightning rod of conversation across the media, political sphere and indeed across the country. Over half of all Irish adults are aware of Lidl’s campaign which launched last year. This means that one in every two people know the issues that we face when it comes to accessing period products in Ireland for those who are struggling’.

Lidl has never experienced a redemption like this for any instore initiative but realises that further steps need to be taken to eliminate Period Poverty in Ireland. JP Scally, CEO of Lidl Ireland and Northern Ireland said: “65,000 free period products redeemed in seven months is the highest level of redemption for any in-store initiative that Lidl Ireland has ever experienced. However, we realise that we all need to go so much further in eliminating Period Poverty in Ireland. As one of the biggest retailers in the country, we have the scale to support some phenomenal causes, and have a real impact on key issues affecting society and the communities we operate in across the island. We’re not afraid to back issues, to break stigmas and to challenge the norm to help build a better workplace, a better environment and ultimately a better society for us all. We are committed to keeping the discussion front and centre as the legislation continues to be debated. As a strong supporter of women and girls in Ireland we want to ensure that we play our part in continuing the conversation and removing the stigma around periods and Period Poverty.”

Recent research commissioned by Lidl and carried out by iReach Insights revealed that three in four people in Ireland believe that period products should be free to those experiencing period poverty whilst 83% of women aged between 18 and 29 years of age believe they should be free to all women. Nine in ten Irish women support the Free Provision of Period Products 2021 Bill which aims to secure the general availability, free of charge, of period products. Other findings include:

  • The majority of females (68%) in Ireland are aware of period poverty, versus 39% of males who are aware of the issue.
  • 51% of females are aware that period products are taxed as a luxury good, compare to 40% of males.
  • The majority of females (70%) and 50% of males believe period products should be free for all women.
  • Over half of women (55%) are aware of the Lidl Combatting Period Poverty with Dignity campaign, which donates period products to those in need. 87% of females think this campaign is important, and 96% of females aged 18-29 think the campaign is important.


The virtual event was hosted by TV Presenter, Nadine Reid, will outline why period poverty continues to be an ongoing issue, the impact on women and girls across the country, the status of period poverty legislation and reveal the results to date of Lidl’s ground-breaking period poverty initiative. Contributors include Claire Hunt – Founder of Homeless Period Ireland; Senator Rebecca Moynihan – Homeless Period Ireland Volunteer; Sarah Benson – CEO of Women’s Aid; JP Scally – CEO of Lidl Ireland & Northern Ireland and more.

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